Monday, April 24, 2023

Final Budget Review comes tonight, along with request for quick action by Council on decision making

The final stage of the 2023 City of Prince Rupert Budget Process takes place this evening, and if residents have any last minute advice for the elected officials, they best come with some compelling arguments towards how City Council should approach its decision making related to a proposed 12.5% tax increase.

Tonight's Final review will include one final report from the City's Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben who will outline some background towards the recent changes that brought the proposed rate down from 15 percent to 12.5%, as well as to summarize some of the feedback received by city staff related to the Budget process.

The Budget update also notes of some changes towards upcoming infrastructure work. 

Of note from those items:  

An increase in the cost for the Shawatlans Road water line, originally proposed at 10 million dollars now increased to 20 million dollars, still to be funded by provincial grant.

Work on the 1st Avenue East Water Main has been revised to 1.4 million down from the initial estimate of 2.1 million; that shift comes with funding for a new project of a sewer main relocation which will cost 700 thousand dollars. 

The City has also added to the Wastewater Capital planning adding in -tandem Sewer pipe replacement at a cost of 20 Million funded through borrowing. 

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As for the report on the participation level when it comes to the simulation program; the document notes of a decline in participation with 21 residents sharing their financial budget making skills, down from 28 one year ago.

Two thirds of those who participated in the program indicated that they were fine with the leaving the tax rate request as it is, with  one-third preferring to see a decrease to the tax call.

How they would allocate the funding is available for review below:

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Those in attendance at tonight's City Council session will have their final chance to comment of the Budget as part of the Committee of the Whole process starting at 7PM.

Those that participate will have to provide something of consequence for a pause on the financial planning for Council, should they wish to reduce the proposed 12.5% tax increase.

As part of the Report, City staff is looking for Council to refer its decision on the budget as part of tonight's Council session, so as to get the process moving towards Adoption Date of May 12th

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The full report from the CFO includes a number of charts and tables documenting the financial measures, Special Project requests and more from the Budget Simulation findings.

All of that is available as part of there report here.

You can review some of the past notes on the 2023 Budget process from our archive page here.

More notes related to this Evening's City Council Session can be explored through our Council Preview.


  1. While the deficit gets all the headlines. Our civic debt has doubled in the past five years.

    2018 - Prince Rupert tax payers serviced $1,165,000 in total municipal debt and interest.
    2022 - $2,446,000 is the amount debt and interest that Prince Rupert tax payers had to service.

    Source - our annual five year financial plans

    1. It’s called a new landfill and a new RCMP station. New big things that are legally required cost money.

      Also as an aside, would certainly be nice for our community to have better annul cash flow from Port industry in order to increase our debt borrowing capacity and servicing abilities

    2. That debt does not include the recent rcmp loan. Landfill was gas tax grant funded.
      It would certainly be nice for our community to not carry $20 million in Citywest debt. Which is a separate line item in our financials under a loan. Which they get a holiday on from paying.
      BTW Citywest had $20 million forgiven in 2008 because it was too hard to pay back.

    3. It would be nice if the city would start bringing stuff in on time and on budget. The city is not remotely close. Time for council to quit with that attaboy and ask tough questions!

  2. The “Landfill Loan FAQ” on the City’s website begs to differ with you

    1. Sure an annual gas tax went to The Landfill Lagoon Project and then the city took out a loan with the MFA for the rest of it.
      $500k annually to service a 10 million loan through tipping fees states the faq.
      Citywest owes 20+ million and only pays $500k?
      Don’t forget 2008, Citywest had 20 million forgiven.