The public is invited to participate in the Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21st, 2023 at 5 p.m. at City Hall (3570 Bridge Street, Armstrong B.C. V0E 1B0).
This public information meeting will allow residents to discuss with Council and Staff as they review the 2023-2027 Financial Plan. The purpose of the 5-Year Financial Plan is to provide a budgetary framework for Council to plan the management of its resources, revenues and expenditures in order to best serve the community.
The 2023 draft operating budget includes investments in City infrastructure such as equipment, water, sewer and roads, as well as, continued implementation of various master plans and studies. The main cost increases for the City are directly related to inflation, the number of services the City provides, and the number of assets the City owns. The greater the number of services and Capital assets and the higher the service levels, the higher the cost. Staff continue to explore efficiencies as part of regular operations and implement those on an ongoing basis.
What has been reported:
Public consultation will happen on February 21, 2023, in accordance with legislation. The proposed 2023 Draft Budget recommends a 7% increase to municipal taxes. In 2022, the average annual inflation rate in BC was 6.9%, the highest it has been in 40 years. The increase would result in an overall increase in property taxes of $171,955. The non-market change, for municipal taxes only, also results in a $28,399 increase to revenues.
A one per cent increase to taxes amounts to $24,565 in revenue for the city.
The proposed increase equates to $97.80 for the average household and $457.03 for a typical business, assessed at $521,795 and $520,525, respectively.
The first stage of the process was for council to review the Draft 2023 Budget and took place on February 2022.
Council reviewed a recommendation for a 7% municipal tax increase in its preliminary 2023 budget. However, Council did reduce the proposed infrastructure levy increase, lowering it from 4.8% to 3%, which is a 0.5% increase from the current 2.5%. The infrastructure levy is for capital projects only and goes into a reserve fund for infrastructure replacement.
Based on legislation, Council must adopt the 2023-27 financial plan before May 15, 2023.
Why is municipal budget important?
Effective financial management can help municipalities to transform their local areas into a better place to live and work. It guides everything that the City does, and without a budget, those responsibilities and obligations that City staff are responsible for cannot happen.
What does a municipal budgeting process look like?
It involves balancing what income the municipality will receive within the year with the planned expenditures and preparing detailed plans which reflect those forecasts.
How can you get involved with the budgeting process in City of Armstrong?
Please consider attending the Special Council meeting being held on February 21, 2023, to keep informed of the decisions being made that affect the budgeting process. The City will post information pertaining to special council meetings on the website. We are publishing to the public soon and the links should be available as soon as I do that.
The City encourages the public to provide comments regarding the Financial Plan by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents may also drop off written statements at City Hall addressed to the Chief Financial Officer, Mo Choudhary.
Information packages pertaining to the Special Council Meeting will be available at noon on the day of the meeting at City Hall and on the City’s website.