What's the purpose of the 2022 Budget?
The City’s 2022 Budget outlines all spending for infrastructure improvements and equipment purchases (the capital budget) and the programs, services and operational costs (operating budget) for the full fiscal year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.
The budget is based on key input and indicators such as Council’s Strategic Priorities and objectives, everyday operating costs, inflation, and infrastructure upgrade and replacement needs. The budget also considers residents’ requests for new programs, services and infrastructure, and addresses growth and modernization demands. The 2022 Budget is one piece of the more comprehensive 2022 to 2026 Financial Plan, which helps the City map out longer term goals.
A municipality must provide an updated five-year financial plan to the Province of BC each year and Council must conduct public consultation and adopt the financial before mid-May. The Local Government Act does not permit municipalities to run annual deficits.
Are BC property assessments related to the municipal tax rate?
Tax rates are based on assessment, whereas budgets are not. The City is budgeting for $38.6 million in taxation which won't change with assessment fluctuations. If all assessments go up, for example by 15 or 25 per cent, the tax rate per $1,000 of assessment would drop to ensure that we only collect what we budget for. The City doesn't collect a windfall when assessments rise.
This year's municipal budget is forecasting a 4 per cent tax rate which includes a 2.4 per cent increase for police services costs and a 1 per cent Infrastructure Levy. As a young city with a strong demand for urban services, it is essential that we invest in infrastructure for the benefit of current residents and for generations to come.
Our goal is to balance the cost to deliver essential services and capital improvements outlined in the Capital Plan while also meeting the expectations of our diverse community.