Budget Consultation 2019

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The 2019 Budget Consultation has concluded.

The City would like to consult and engage with residents about the 2019 budget, as it plans for its next five-year budget cycle, from 2019 to 2023. We are currently at the end of the public consultation portion of the life cycle (see the full life cycle on this page).

There are many factors that affect the City's operating budget, and City staff continually balance necessary costs and priorities while maintaining the service levels that our community expects.

City directors and managers are always looking for efficiencies that can result in cost savings; however, some things, such as hospital and

The City would like to consult and engage with residents about the 2019 budget, as it plans for its next five-year budget cycle, from 2019 to 2023. We are currently at the end of the public consultation portion of the life cycle (see the full life cycle on this page).

There are many factors that affect the City's operating budget, and City staff continually balance necessary costs and priorities while maintaining the service levels that our community expects.

City directors and managers are always looking for efficiencies that can result in cost savings; however, some things, such as hospital and school tax rates or ICBC rates, remain out of the City's control.

On this page, you can learn more about key budget timelines and processes, view documents, and ask questions of the City's finance managers.

For historical documents, including the City's financial statements, visit the City's budget website.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Thank you for taking the time to ask us a question. Kathy Humphrey, the City's Corporate Services Director, and Dave Hallinan, the City's Budget and Reporting Manager, will respond as soon as possible, and will aim to do so within 1-3 business days. 

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    How much does the City of Kamloops spend on road and pavement rehabilitation compared to other interior cities like Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton. When I travel to those cities, I see that their road network and infrastructure is in much better condition and they appear to spend a lot more per capita on road paving/rehab than Kamloops. Our road network is in a deplorable state with many potholes, ruts, cracks poor manhole depressions. Not nearly enough money is being allocated to maintenance and repair of this infrastructure. Stop dreaming up new fancy projects until you spend many millions on bringing the rad network back to a proper state. Good Roads Cost Less.

    Larry Nelson asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your questions, to get the best details for you we asked Glen Farrow, Streets and Environmental Services Manager for a response.

    The City of Kamloops adheres to a fairly comprehensive Pavement Management Strategy (PMS) to maintain its various classifications of roads within the network. Due to varying traffic volumes, land uses and geographical and topographical conditions, the roadway system in Kamloops requires a variety of different strategies keep it healthy and functioning at an acceptable level.

    Although the surface condition of the asphalt is a strong indicator as to the condition of the road, it does not always present the complete picture. The City of Kamloops undertakes a complete surface and structural survey of the arterial and collector roadways every three years using state of the art Laser Road Imaging to analyze the pavement surface distress, road profile and roughness, rutting and cracking, as well as testing to identify the strength of the road structure along each corridor.

    This information is uploaded to a road network model in which the City of Kamloops analyzes the condition of the roadways, based on Pavement Quality Index (PQI), and produces a rehabilitation program that coincides with other infrastructure upgrades scheduled within the City (ie: City utilities, transportation upgrades, 3rd party utilities, etc).

    The City of Kamloops strives to maintain an average PQI of approximately 70 out of 100 (0 being the worst possible condition and 100 being the best) for its arterial and collector corridors. An average network PQI of 70 is generally accepted as a "Satisfactory" level of quality in regards to a pavement management strategy target.

    The PQI values for each roadway are based on calculations taking into account factors such as International Roughness Index (IRI), Ride Comfort Index (RCI), Surface Distress Index (SDI) and Structural Adequecy Index (SAI). As the PQI of a roadway decreases, the required rehabilitation treatment generally increases in complexity and cost.

    With input from the PMS modeling and program coordination, the City of Kamloops budgets approximately:
    • $ 2,000,000 / year for Arterial roadways
    • $ 1,000,000 / year for Collector roadways
    • $ 800,000 / year for Local roadways

    for its various roads improvement projects in addition to the annual operating funds of $5.7M which is used to provide for ongoing roads maintenance, snow clearing and street cleaning. 

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    As a business owner looking on the way our government continues to spend money and pushes on to the residents of BC/kamloops doesnt seem right Examples: Transit , district 73 has open POs for jobs, basically anything run by city of kamloops I know businesses are expensive to run but why cant there be more of a bidding process for anything the city of kamloops does push work more on to the private sector (kamloops businesses only local companys)and that way budgets are more punctual Keeps work locally and spends money more efficiently Kamloops is a great place to live but taxes seem to be getting crazy because of over spending on budgets and losing the work ethic to get stuff done efficiently

    Kent0 asked over 2 years ago

    The City of Kamloops, as a government entity, is required by legislation in the Community Charter* to follow the laws as set out by the province of British Columbia. Specifically related to the procurement of good and services, the province has entered into the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) with Alberta and Saskatchewan. Contained within the NWPTA are clear requirements for government organizations (provincial ministries, crown corporations and municipalities) to follow and provide open, non-discrimination, non-circumvention and transparency in public procurement practices.

    The City is part of the MASH sector (Municipal, Academic, School Districts and Hospitals) and these groups are required to approach the market in a similar manner. Under the NWTPA, the thresholds for procuring goods or contracting services is clearly defined by the thresholds. The bid process is a lengthy and time consuming process and in order to extract the best overall value to the City, at times, like products and services are combined in order to take advantage of economies of scale and consistency in the delivery of products or service over the contracted periods. All bid proposals are posted on BC Bid to allow for a broader reach into the marketplace.

    The Guidelines to the Procurement Obligations of Domestic and International Trade Agreements, published in February 2014, describes the general obligations and highlights examples of non-compliance activities, and specifically related to your comment "…Kamloops business only local companies…", page 4 of the Guidelines states:


    II Non-Discrimination

    1. Procuring entities must accord to like, competitive or substitutable good and services of eligible suppliers treatment that is no less favorable than the best treatment they provide to their own or any other supplier.

    2. The following is an illustrative list of practices that would be inconsistent with paragraph 1:

    (a) extending a preference for local or domestic good, services or suppliers.

    Essentially, the wording in the trade agreement specifically prohibits government entities, such as the City of Kamloops, from favoring local business in the procurement process.

    *The Community Charter is provincial legislation that provides municipalities and their councils with legal framework for powers, duties, and functions, authority and discretion to address existing and future community needs, and the flexibility to determine public interest of their communities. The Community Charter is constantly being updated and amended by the Province and the most up to date copy can be reviewed and obtained from: http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/03026_00

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    How much is our tax percentage compared to other municipalities? (question asked on the Facebook live event during the public budget meeting)

    almost 3 years ago

    Many municipalities are still in their preliminary stages of preparing and reviewing their budgets with their council. We will keep this list updated as more municipalities announce their 2019 preliminary tax rates along with links to their news stories. Please check back for more updates.

    City of Duncan:  3.89%

    City of Kelowna:  4.4%

    City of Maple Ridge:  3.5% 

    District of Mission: 6.9%

    City of Nanaimo:  5.03%

    District of North Vancouver: 3%

    City of Port Moody: 7.36%

    City of Prince George: 5.0% 

    City of Revelstoke: 5.0%

    District of Saanich:  4.97%

    City of Vancouver: 4.5%

    City of Vernon:  5.57%

    City of Victoria: 3.76%

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    When will the city spend $$ on our city roads? Please drive on columbia street from battle street up to summit drive, Lansdowne, fortune drive tranqule road - the list goes on please spend our tax $$ on this instead of an outdoor rink - thank you

    pdc asked almost 3 years ago

    The city budgets over $7.5 million annually for work related to maintaining and repaving the 1,200 kilometres of city streets.  Over the course of the next five years, the following streets are tentatively planned for new resurfacing:

    •Fortune Drive: 8th Street to Overlanders Bridge
    •Tranquille Road: Ridgeview Terrace to 12th Street
    •Barnhartvale Road: Dallas Drive to Todd Road
    •Singh Street: Parkcrest Avenue to Ord Road
    •Todd Road: Klahanie Drive to Ronde Lane
    •12th Street: Kenora Road to Tranquille Road
    •Springhill Drive: Springhill Place to Monarch Drive 

    Please note, plans are subject to change when an unforeseen event occurs and requires the available funding to be spent on another, higher priority section of road.   

    The City places a priority on addressing multiple upgrades in an area all at once, if possible, in order to reduce the impact to the public. This means that the civic operations team aligns the work of maintaining streets with water, sewer and drainage activities when possible–for example, for the work that will be performed on Victoria Street West where the planned work will include wholesale changes to both the in-ground and visible infrastructure. 

    With regard to the proposed ice rink project under consideration by Council, funding for this project would primarily come from grant funding ($4 million) with the balance being provided by gaming funds. There are no tax dollars being considered for the creation of this project.

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    Letter to the Editor, Kamloops This Week, December 11: Use Kamloops tax cash for essentials only Editor: If my math is correct, with a tax increase of 3.38 per cent in 2019, 1.93 per cent in 2018 2.7 per cent in 2017, 2.35 per cent in 2016 and 1.22 per cent in 2015, my taxes will have gone up 11.58 per cent in five years. If we assume the overall Canadian inflation rate in 2019 will be about 1.835 per cent (the average for the last four years), this leaves the average Kamloops property tax increase during the past five years higher than the total inflation rate for all of Canada in that same period. My income hasn’t gone up 11 per cent in the last five years. This prompted me to look at why the city thinks it needs more and more money. As I reviewed capital expenditures on the city website, I noticed a disturbing amount of money being spent on amusement and diversion. On its website, the city even brags about many tens of millions of dollars it spends on facilities so people can run around chasing pucks and balls — or just plain run around. Taxes should never be imposed on people who are unlikely to benefit from the expenditures. Not everybody swims or skates. Everybody does use water, sewage systems, roads and sidewalks. Taxes should not be used to compete with private businesses. There are existing private recreation facilities that could be bigger and more robust if they didn’t have a government behemoth with which to compete. I always thought the reason cities had taxes was to help with essential services individuals would normally be unable to afford, such as reliable water systems, safe sewers and good roads. Apparently, civic leaders — ours in particular — have other major, more vacuous priorities. Jean Lefevre Kamloops

    almost 3 years ago

    Response to the Kamloops This Week Letter to the Editor from Jean Lefevre - Use Kamloops tax cash for essentials only.

    As a vibrant and growing community, Kamloops residents expect a diverse range of amenities to meet their various needs. While every person will not appreciate or use every service, it is the availability of this range of services that attracts people to work in, live in and visit our community.

    Breaking down the items impacting the current budget, many are related to essential services, an increase in (Council-approved) policing, providing additional transit services and an increased investment in snow removal and streets maintenance, which accounts for 1.36% of the proposed increase.

    Other costs that impact the City, yet are beyond the City's direct control include the changes from MSP to the new Employer Health Tax, increases in utility services, hydro, natural gas, fuels, ICBC insurance rates and safety requirement changes from Worksafe related to construction flagging.

    These items result in an impact of 1.14%. The balance of the increase–1.65%–is directly related to the ongoing delivery of civic services, policing, fire, snow removal, street maintenance, maintenance of city parks and supporting the ongoing development of new buildings and houses.

    Related directly to the capital investment in recreation facilities, each of these buildings are required to be maintained to a standard as required under various legislations. As the owners of the facilities and the land, the citizens of the city–through taxation–pay to maintain the condition and the viability of these investments. Recreational users are the ones that actually pay to take advantage of these amenities.

    These forms of amenities are necessary to any growing city. Potential employers looking to locate in a community take a view of what is there for their employees. Individuals look to see what is special about a community and what there is to do in any place they are thinking of moving to.

    As Canada’s Tournament Capital, the facilities that are here in Kamloops help to generate millions of dollars into the local economy and drive tens of thousands of visitors to Kamloops each year. Many of the local businesses and their employees directly benefit from events hosted at these civic facilities.

    Dave Hallinan
    Budget and Reporting Manager
    City of Kamloops

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    Since the city has been paying the msp for its staff forever how is the new employer tax so much higher than the old msp premiums, don't they cancel out to a significant degree? You must also compare to 2 years ago before the msp was lowered.

    Dennis asked almost 3 years ago

    In 2017, the BC Government announced that the MSP premium would be cut by 50% starting Jan 1, 2018. As a result, the City cut its budget for MSP by approximately $600,000 which was reflected as a cost savings in the 2018 budget year. 

    In 2018, the BC Government introduced the Employer Health Tax (EHT). Overall, the EHT will be approximately $200,000 higher than what the City was paying for MSP at 100% (EHT will cost $1.4 million dollars, whereas MSP at 100% was $1.2 million dollars), but the City had already reduced the MSP budget by 50%.

    In 2019, the City is still required to pay 50% MSP ($600,000), plus the EHT ($1.4 million dollars). The City will not have to pay for MSP in 2020.

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    What major city improvement projects are currently included in the cities budgeting that are not technically accounted for at this time within the budget figures & which of the exiating ones do you actually have formal estimates to base your budget on? The Canada Games Pool ballooning from 3.5-9 million is another one, of many recently, that is likely causing people to question the cities budgeting abilities.

    Unkown 971 asked almost 3 years ago

    The published Draft 2019 – 2023 Financial Plan contains a capital section that has all of the current planned projects. There are some initiatives that are being brought forward in the new year to be reviewed and considered by Council through the supplemental program prior to finalizing the actual 2019 tax rate. These initiatives are currently being reviewed by staff to make sure that options are considered and that costing estimates are realistic.

    When it comes to specific projects, there are many times where corrective measures are identified for an asset, to be addressed in the future. A high level estimate is determined with the intention that closer to the actual start of the project a more detailed review of the work to be completed will be performed. When the detailed work is done there are times where additional activities are added as it makes sense to include that work at the same time as opposed to making multiple projects.

    For example: it may be identified that a road needs to be repaved in 2 – 3 years. Prior to starting the repaving work an inspection of either the water or sewer lines in the area reveal that there is a potential failure.  It’s less disruptive to the public, cost effective and efficient to combine this work and complete it all together.

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    Why are these rates above the average increase in general, how come civic always increases over the rates? (question asked on the Facebook live event during the public budget meeting)

    almost 3 years ago

    Based on the time this question was asked during the Facebook live event on November 28 (Visit the City's Facebook page here), we've assumed the question refers to the slide "Comparison of Tax Rate Increases" shown at that time, and have taken the liberty of framing the question with reference to the rates indicated on this slide. For the public and Let's Talk Q&A readers' reference, the chart referenced is at 22:26 in the recorded video of the public budget meeting

    We have slightly re-worded the question to: "Why are these rates (Kamloops Annual Property Tax Increase rates) above the average increase in general (Bank of Canada Avg. CPI), how come civic always increases over the rates?"


    The Bank of Canada Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a common measure for inflation in the economy. The calculation uses the "basket of goods" theory where a broad range of goods that are typically used in an average household are used in the calculations. 

    There are eight categories that are populated with a number of items within these areas:

    1.  Food

    2.  Shelter

    3.  Household operations, furniture and equipment

    4.  Clothing and footwear

    5.  Transportation

    6.  Health and personal care

    7.  Recreation, education and reading, and finally

    8.  Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products

    As we can see, many of the items in each CPI category are not used by the City in the delivery of its products and services.  Most items common to households and municipalities are the items that are increasing in price - utilities or fuels, for example. Unfortunately, many of the items that are remaining flat or decreasing are not purchases made in civic operations.  Also, in the CPI "basket of goods", there is a lack of construction-related items such as concrete, steel, black-top and any of the related services to deliver these items. 

    Visit the CPI website for more information on CPI