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.
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).
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:
|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|
|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).
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:
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:
|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:
|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:
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!