Council approves 2021 Operating and Capital Budgets

Posted On Wednesday December 09, 2020

City Council approved the 2021 Operating budget at $78.8 million and the 2021 Capital budget at $9.7 million at the Tuesday December 8, 2020 Council meeting. During the November budget deliberations meetings, Council passed motions which effectively reduced the 2021 proposed operating budget by $274,490.

The revenue sources for the City’s Operating budget includes property taxes, utility rates, fines, user fees, grants, and investment income. Capital projects are primarily funded through capital reserves and external grants.

“Council approved a budget that holds 2021 taxes as low as possible to recognize the economic situation that residents and business owners are facing,” stated Mayor Gale Katchur.

The 2021 Operating Budget includes property tax revenue collected of $48.6M, which is an increase of approximately $425K from 2020. This increase is a result of property assessment growth of approximately $508K and a reduction of Grants in Place of Taxes for $83K received from the Province. There is a zero percent property tax revenue increase due to spending in 2021.

“The City has adopted Priority Based Budgeting (PBB), a leading best practice for local Government that develops program inventories and program costing and shows how programs align with community priorities. PBB serves as a tool and framework for evaluating and prioritizing program options and alternatives to help make decisions about resource allocations.” explained Jeremy Emann, Chief Financial Officer.

Information regarding the finalized assessments will be available in February/March 2021, and information regarding the proposed 2021 property tax rates will be available in April when Council is scheduled to approve the 2021 Property Tax Bylaw. Depending on how a property's assessment changes relative to the average annual assessment, a property owner may see their property taxes change by more or less than the zero per cent.