Dec. 17, 2018: Budget overview presentation to City Council
Jan. 14, 2019: Service Partner presentations to City Council
Jan. 21, 2019: Overview presentation to General Committee
Jan. 28, 2019: Council approval
All meetings available to view on Rogers TV Barrie
Ontario municipalities receive only 10 cents of every tax dollar raised in Ontario, while the Provincial and Federal governments receive 35 cents and 55 cents respectively. In contrast to this, municipalities own 65% of the capital infrastructure, while the Provincial Government owns 31% of Infrastructure and the Federal Government only 4%.
Barrie taxes are very comparable to other municipalities. In fact, they are in the lower end of other major southern Ontario cities.
Standard & Poor's reaffirmed the City of Barrie’s AA Credit Rating, with stable outlook.
The annual Business Plan & Budget outlines how the City plans to allocate resources to deliver the programs and services residents and businesses rely on every day.
The City is required by provincial law to balance its operating and capital budgets each year. Simply put, the money raised must balance the money spent. To balance the budget, the City can either:
Money is raised in two streams:
Money is spent on the day-to-day expenses for program and service delivery including city road & sidewalk maintenance, curbside collection, recreation, parks, trails & waterfront maintenance and emergency services.
Money is raised through a combination of property taxes, development charges, debt issuance, grants and reserves.
Money is spent on projects designed to create, enhance or restore the service potential of the City’s significant network of assets, which include infrastructure (roads, bridges, buildings etc.), land, equipment and vehicles.
Similar to a personal or household budget, the City’s budget is affected by factors beyond our control that impact the cost of a program or service:
Like a resident, the City’s utilities (gas, hydro) and materials costs increase every year. While the City works hard to find efficiencies that reduce the impact of these increases, they do effect property taxes if the City is to maintain the existing service levels provided to residents.
There is only one property tax bill. Of the residential property tax bill:
Infrastructure gapLike most municipalities,Barrie has a significant gap between the amount of money available each year to maintain its infrastructure and the amount of money needed to ensure infrastructure remains in a state of good repair. That’s why the City created a Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund that’s used only for the replacement and rehabilitation of Barrie’s roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure. View projected debt reduction.
The Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund supports such projects as:
Our infrastructure refers to the physical assets that the City uses to deliver services to our community. The City of Barrie currently owns $3.5 billion worth of infrastructure, which includes our roads, bridges, storm water drains and sewers, streetlights, sidewalks, community centres, water treatment facilities, buses and much more.
Just like we need strong bones to keep us healthy and active, cities need well-maintained infrastructure to keep our communities safe, healthy and livable. It makes people and businesses want to locate here and is a key ingredient to building and supporting a strong, vibrant city.
Maintaining our infrastructure is important not only because it saves us money on expensive emergency repairs, but also because it helps protect the health and safety of our citizens by decreasing the risk of a major failure such as a water main bursting or road crumbling.
Infrastructure is funded through a combination of property taxes, reserve funds, development charges, debt financing and funding from Provincial and Federal Governments through gas taxes. According to Barrie’s Asset Management Plan, the City should be investing $86 million each year to keep our infrastructure well maintained.
In June 2018 Council directed staff to prepare the 2019 Business Plan & Budget for all tax-supported services that considers:
The majority comes from residential and commercial property taxes. Other sources of revenue include user fees, Development Charges (capital budget), grants & subsidies from other levels of government and contributions from reserves.
Of Barrie's 2016 residential property tax bill, 54% funds City services, 15% funds education, as mandated by the Province, and 31% funds the City’s service partners such as the Barrie Police, Public Library and services delivered by the County of Simcoe such as Land Ambulance and Social Services.
Similar to savings accounts, reserves and reserve funds receive regular (annual) contributions as part of the budget process. They are a critical component of the City’s long-range financial plan as they strengthen our financial sustainability, help to minimize fluctuations in the tax rate, provide funding for infrastructure and provide the flexibility to manage debt within the City’s Debt Policy.
A reserve is established by Council for a specific purpose but the funds do not relate to any particular asset and there is no requirement for the reserves to earn interest. Reserves are created either through a planned contribution established in the budget process or through the transfer of unspent funds at the end of a year. Any transfer of unspent funds at year end must be authorized by Council.
A reserve fund is similar to a reserve except that the reserve fund assets are segregated and restricted to meet the purpose of the reserve fund. There are two types of reserve funds; obligatory and discretionary reserve funds. Obligatory reserve funds must be created whenever a statute or legislation requires funds received for special purposes be segregated from the general revenues of the municipality i.e. Development Charges. Discretionary reserve funds are established through a by-law of Council for a specific purpose. Investment income generated by reserve funds must be accumulated in the reserve fund and accounted for as part of it.
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