Monday, February 22, 2016

Council to receive Budget Presentation from Finance tonight

The overall picture of the city's finances will be reviewed at tonight's City Council session, as Corinne Bomben, the City's Chief Financial Officer, provides for the first stage of the city's Budget Consultation Process.

Tonight it's all about the numbers as the CFO provides a report that outlines the Financial Plan Process, providing the guidelines that the City's Financial Department has outlined for Senior Staff and departments.

As part of the budget planning, Department heads were advised to be prudent and plan for a Status Quo Budget, where expenditures should be budgeted at levels that would provide the same level of service as found in 2015.

Among some of the highlights from her report that the CFO will stress tonight:

All capital purchases and works are to be funded through grants, reserves, dividends, general operating and operating surplus carried forward from 2015.

Contractual wage increases and benefit rate increases will result in an additional cost to the City of $478,000.

CityWest has advised that it expects to be able to provide a dividend to the City in the amount of $400,000.

Prince Rupert Legacy Incorporated will be providing a dividend of $1.3 Million to fund Planning for Major Project  initiatives, as well as $3.26 Million for Capital Works, with 2.2 million of that dedicated towards Phase 1 of the City's Water Project.  

Non-Market change in assessment has resulted in an increase in Property Tax Revenue of approximately $550,000.

The Utilities funds are self-funding, with increases in utility rates covering the projected costs.

With a final portion of the Highlights notes indicating that after taking into consideration the expected revenues and expenditures for normal service operations, the City is anticipating no tax increase required for those elements for 2016.

However, with an eye on Capital replacement and reserve replenishment concerns, the City's Finance Department is recommending a 2 per cent increase in taxation to be put in place towards being transferred to the reserves.

The calculation from the Finance Department has determined that the average increase would be thirty six dollars for homeowner with an average assessment value.

The proposed two per cent increase would be identified separately on the Property Tax bylaw to communicate Council's commitment to funding future asset replacement.

The Report also provides the financial projections for all areas of the civic government, noting both the revenues and expenses from a range of categories for this budget year and further ahead towards 2020.

You can review the full report from the Agenda Package for tonight, the documentation starts at page 7, while the revenue and expense breakdown appears from pages 11 to 14.

Council will receive the report tonight, but will not act on any of the recommendations until the consultation period is complete, the public will have their first opportunity to weigh in on their thoughts and concerns over the city's financial plans at a Public engagement session on March 14th.

As the Budget Process for 2016 moves forward you can track some of the items of importance from our Budget Consultation Archive page here.

For more items related to City Council Discussions see our archive page here.

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