2016/17 Budget Process

The 2016/17 budget process formally started in the fall of 2015 at the November Committee of the Whole meeting; however, it should be noted input on budget matters takes place throughout the year.

Assessments

It is important to highlight that the increase in taxable assessments for 2016 are relatively small in the residential sector and that, in fact, commercial assessments have declined. With no change in tax rates, the 2016/17 taxable assessment base will only generate $64,900 in increased revenue. This compares to $243,000 increased revenue in 2015/16 budget, and $165,000 increased revenue in 2014/15. The reality is that the Town had less new assessment from construction, and a very small increase from cost of living increase applied to assessments via the Provincial Capped Assessment Program (CAP).

  • Provincial CAP for 2016 is 0.3%
  • 54% of residential properties qualified for CAP
  • 87% of residential assessments increased 1% of less, including properties that decreased
  • 5% of residential assessments declined
  • Commercial had an overall 2.4% drop in taxable assessment value
  • Approximately 60% of commercial accounts declined in value, which appears to be a trend across the province.

Draft Version 1

Draft Version 1 was presented to Council at a Special Committee of the Whole meeting on January 21, 2016 and had a short fall in excess of $300,000.

The following direction was provided to staff to prepare version 2:

Revenues

The following expenditures would be funded through the Town's Operating Reserve*  
  2016 Municipal Election   $25,000
  One year term position for building inspection (part-time)     38,600
  Term employee for Phase II of the MPS Review (part-time)     19,800
  Capital Funding Requirement     48,000
The estimated revenue for parking fines was increased     16,000
Employment grant for GIS summer student       8,200

Expenditures

Partial Implementation of Compensation Plan     $30,000
 Reduction in Professional Development Budget      20,000
 Remove allowance for additional staff hours in finance         9,600
Reduction in contract services for the CAO         3,000
Decrease in tax exemption expenditure for 2016 assessments                                       3,400
Reduction to Festival & Events Program expenditures      10,000
   
Total Reduction in Shortfall $241,600

*Staff recommended using operating reserves for these expenditures in accordance with the Town's Reserve Policy (140-006).

  Click here to view the January 21, 2016 Special Committee of the Whole Agenda Package.

 

Draft Version 2

Draft Version 2 was presnted to Council on February 2, 2016 at a regular Committee of the Whole meeting with a short fall of $88,200.  The following direction was provided to staff to prepare version 3:

Remove the Student Liaison Officer Position $18,100
Remove the marketing outreach associated with the Student Liaison     2,000
Remove additional marketing monies to maintain previous  year budget     5,000

Staff outlined the impact of Tax Rate Changes to Council leading Council to indicate support for a Tax Rate increase for 2016/17, but only after full review of the Operating Budget for other possible savings.

If 1 cent is added to the residential tax rate, it would have the following impact:

  • 87% of residential accounts will see a 1% or lower increase in tax dollars paid.
  • 262 of these accounts (16% overall) will still see a decrease in taxes at an average of $291 or $143, excluding the single largest decline.
  • Within the 87%, the accounts with an increase will see an average increase of $29 compared to what they paid in 2015/16.

  Click here to view the February 2, 2016 Committee of the Whole Agenda Package

 

Draft Version 3

Draft Version 3 was presented to Council on February 16, 2016 at a Special Committee of the Whole meeting as a balanced budget.

Changes made to reach a balanced budget are as follows:

Revenue

Add 1 cent to residential and commercial tax rates* $41,300
Adjust revenue for sale of service (Planning)    4,500
Remove grant related to GIS Summer Student  (8,200)
Reduce estimated festival/events revenue (12,000)
Remove Municipal Physical Activity Leadership Program grant revenue          (25,000)
Add conditional recovery of summer wine bus staff    7,700
Change in Revenue $ 8,200

*Staff included a 1 cent increase to the commercial rate in addition to a 1 cent increase to the residential.  A 1 cent increase to the commercial rate means that:

  • 61 accounts will still play less than they did in 2015/16
  • 4 accounts will have no change
  • 46 accounts will pay more; and
  • Overall, the commercial sector will pay less than they did in 2015/16

Expenditures

Reduction in Professtional Development, net change in salary/wages  $   1,800
Increase estimate of RCMP contract  (37,000)
Remove Student Liason Position and related expenses   20,100
Remove Alternative Justice initative     5,000
Reduce contracted service in solid waste     5,000
Remove GIS Summer Student   12,300
Net reduction in consolidation of two positions (merge Events & Recreation)    55,000
General reduction of marketing budget     5,000
Reduction in operating equipment and supplies in Festival/Events   10,000
Reduction onf Festival/Events program spending as a result of re-org.     6,500
Add seasonal/part-time wages for after school program position  (13,000)
Reduction in employee benefit estimate     1,000
Reduction in estimate for Valley Waste Resource Management    12,000
Increase estimate for Regional Housing Costs   (2,000)
Change in Expenditure $80,000

 

WBDC - Business Development Area Rate

Based on preliminary indications, the budget will include an amount of $39,500 to transfer to the WBDC.  This means:

  • 54% drop in required area rate revenue, or reduction of $45,500 from 2015/16
  • Area rates would drop approximately 14.5 cents in the downtown and 7 centres outside of the downtown (2015/16 rates were 31 cents and 14.5 cents respectively)
  • Average decrease over 111 commercial accounts is $410 per account

  Click here to view February 16, 2016 Special Committee of Whole Agenda Package

  Click here to view the February 16, 2016 Budget Presentation

The 2016/17 Operating, Capital and Water Utility Budgets and Operating Plan will be discussed again on March 1, 2016 at a regular Committee of the Whole meeting with the hopes of being approved at the regular March 22, 2016 Town Council meeting.  Check back for more updates!