2023 Provisional Budget Released
On Tuesday, November 22, The City's newly elected City Council met as the Committee of the Whole (COTW) to receive a detailed report on the provisional 2023 budget and five-year financial plan. It includes a property tax funding requirement increase of 5.6% (approx. $7 million). This number is calculated when forecasting the cost of providing the same services at the same levels as last year while considering:
- new items already approved by Council
- changes in negotiated contracts
- announced changes to third-party utility rates or other contracted services
- regulatory or government changes
- approved service level changes
Increased competition for skilled employees, ongoing supply chain issues, and a high level of inflation in the market are all continuing effects of the pandemic that impact this provisional budget. Further, changes in the social environment resulted in a 2022 Council decision to gradually increase funding for the local RCMP complement, which is being phased in over several years.
For the first time since the pandemic, the City has adapted this year’s financial planning process considering an expected move back to normal social interactions. As a result, City revenues are expected to return to near pre-pandemic levels in most areas, however revenue growth is somewhat offset by the depletion of pandemic relief funding provided by the Province.
The COTW directed Administration to prepare a bylaw for the 2023–2027 Five-Year Provisional Financial Plan based on the information provided. Feedback from the COTW will inform the development of the 2023–2027 Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw, which is set to be presented for approval at a Regular Council Meeting in early 2023.
Due to the timing of the 2022 election and the number of new members on Council, the budgeting process will be somewhat different this cycle. Members of the public are invited to watch the COTW meeting recording, read the report and examine the provisional budget book. Questions may be submitted under the Q&A. There will be formal means of providing feedback on the provisional budget early in 2023.