2012 Tax Supported Operating Budget

On April 11th, 2012, Council approved the final 2012 tax operating budget. Highlights include enhancements to a number of services, maintaining service levels for all other programs and freezing transit fares. The budget provides key investments in infrastructure funding, additional transit services and social service programs.

From an initial starting point in January, facing a 2.0% tax increase, Council engaged staff in a process of finding budget savings and efficiencies in excess of -$8.2 million. These savings reduced the total average residential tax increase to 0.9%.

Note: Dollar impacts based on City-wide average residential assessment of $258,000. Totals in the following table have been rounded.

Municipal Taxes Preliminary Amount % changed Approved Amount % changed
City Departments $23 .8% ($14) -.5%
Grant Loss $17 .6% $17 .6%
Boards and Agencies $12 .4% $12 .4%
Capital $14 .5% $14 .5%
Total Municipal Taxes $67 2.3% $29 1.0%
Education Taxes $1 .3% $2 .3%
Total Tax Change $68 2% $31 .9%

 

View the 2013 Approved Operating & Capital Budgets (PDF, 826 KB)

For the average home assessed at $258,000, the budget will add about $31 to their tax bill. Property owners may have an increase higher or lower than the 0.9% average due to changes in assessment and/or area rating policies.

At the September 12, 2011 General Issues Committee meeting, Council made the following recommendation: "That, in an effort to achieve the goal of an overall tax impact of zero percent for City Services, all City departments target a 2012 budget guideline of 0% increase, an that any increase be forwarded for consideration with appropriate explanation".

Council held three workshops (October 27th, November 17th, December 16th) to receive draft budget information, confirm budget principles and provide feedback to staff. In keeping with the approved principles, staff developed a preliminary budget which works towards Council target while preserving programs and services.

On January 24, 2012, staff presented to the General Issues Committee the Preliminary 2012 Tax Supported Operating Budget requiring an average property tax increase of 2.0% or $68 per household. The budget, as submitted, protects the hundreds of programs and services provided to the taxpayers and the public. The preliminary budget estimates required gross expenditures of about $1.25 billion to deliver these services. User fees, grants, subsidies and other revenues reduce the amount of tax levy required to support these services to about $713.3 million.

In order to achieve the goal of a zero tax impact, -$16 million would have to be eliminated from the preliminary 2012 tax budget. The preliminary budget as submitted is consistent with Council’s direction not to impact programs/services. During deliberations, staff will engage Council in an effort to progress to the target of zero or an appropriate level of tax increase which balances the need to hold taxes while protecting services.

Since the budget submission January 24th, General Issues Committee has approved a number of amendments. For the Final Amendment Schedule click here.(PDF)

Budget Documents
Details of the preliminary budget and the budget process can be found in the following Budget Documents.

2012 Preliminary Tax Operating Budget Summary (PDF, 820 KB)
2012 Tax Supported Preliminary Operating Budget - Departmental Overviews (PDF, 2 MB )
Glossary of Operating Budget Terminology (PDF, 32 KB )
Final Amendment Schedule (PDF, 23 KB)  

2012 Budget Presentations