CFO sets timeline, public engagement process and assumptions
The City of Powell River Council will consider starting the long and complex process of preparing its 2022 to 2026 financial plan.
At the August 26 finance committee meeting, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Adam Langenmaier said it was the start of the budget season for the town of Powell River. He said he was bringing the matter to the finance committee because this was the board’s first chance to determine the direction it wants to take, and a chance for staff to communicate the direction that was given in the latest five-year financial plan, and staff are going to assume that’s the direction they’ll go.
“When we adopt our financial plan, it’s a five-year plan,” Langenmaier said. “Where I start this year’s financial plan is the second year of last year’s financial plan.
“We all know it’s hard to predict the future and we know that this current wait which is now a year old will take some focus. This is the board’s first chance to say there has to be a specific goal, or let’s get on with what we’re doing.
Langenmaier said the home tax assessment is expected to increase. He said house and property prices had gone up. He said what’s different is the business impact. He said that last year commercial properties had lost value and that he would expect a similar trend due to COVID-19 and other factors.
“It’s an estimate – we don’t know if it will be safe,” Langenmaier said. “What this tells us is that we’ll probably have a difference in how our assessment mix plays out. We know that commercial produces a bit more property tax than residential, so that’s something. thing we will have to consider.
Langenmaier said that, based on projections for 2022, total tax revenue will be $ 21.2 million, compared to $ 20.2 million in budgeted tax revenue in 2021, an increase of $ 1 million, or 4.9%. He said there is an expected increase in operating expenses of approximately $ 786,000. This is a larger increase than last year, but it is because the 2021 budget has been reduced due to COVID-19, according to Langenmaier.
“The 2022 budget has been increased, assuming we would all be back to normal,” Langenmaier said. “This year is a bit of a challenge because: are we back to normal?
“I start from strategic plans. Are we getting what we want to do? What do we think we can achieve? “
Langenmaier said inflation was going to be tough this year. He said he is looking at two different tests for inflation. He said the British Columbia index from June 2020 to June 2021 was 2.4% and the year before it measured 0.5%. The inflation rate in Canada is trending at 4.2 percent, and compared to 2020 it was only 0.7 percent, Langenmaier said.
“We could see big increases in costs,” he said.
Langenmaier presented a budget calendar to the finance committee for consideration by the board. The public consultation process will be similar to previous years, with the public having the opportunity to attend the meetings and an online participation process will be facilitated. Langenmaier said he is seeking board approval for his proposed timeline and that the services identified in the year 2022 of the 2021 plan will become the basis for moving forward, unless the board wants something different.
The chairman of the finance committee, Councilor George Doubt, said the city is at the start of a long process and will hopefully hear from a lot of public along the way.
The finance committee gave unanimous consent to forward the CFO’s recommendations to the city council meeting on September 2. The CFO recommended that the 2022 budget timeline be approved as presented, that the 2022 public consultation process use an online platform, soliciting comments from the public at budget presentation meetings and through the city, and that municipal services funded in 2021 form the basis of services. funded in 2022.