City of Langford Presents Draft 2023-27 Five-Year Financial Plan
(Langford, B.C.) – On Monday, March 27, 2023, Council met as Committee of the Whole to receive a detailed report from the Director of Finance on the proposed Five-year Financial Plan. The presentation included an overview of legislative and budgeting processes, how taxes are calculated, the proposed 2023-27 financial plan, and a detailed review of significant budgetary impacts. The presentation also clarified some misunderstandings, and what certain funds can and cannot be used for. The financial plan proposes a 11.94% property tax increase in 2023, representing costs associated with maintaining City service levels to keep up with population growth, inflation, as well as significant public safety and recreation funding requests and obligations. The proposed tax increase, although high, equates to an average increase of $0.66 cents per day for an average residential property. The following projected tax increases over four years are 7.75%, 6.24%, 5.86% and 5.42%.
The projected 2023 tax increase represents major budgetary impacts including:
• 4 RCMP Officers.
• 9 Fire Fighters.
• 6.5 City staff.
• $950,000 in YM/YWCA increased operating costs.
While the suggested tax increase is higher than in past years, overall taxes will remain lower than the average same sized municipalities regionally, and across the province (a $2100 annual projection, compared to an estimated average of $2703 when looking at the municipal portion of the tax bill).
In addition to the above noted budgetary commitments, the proposed budget includes multiple Capital Projects. Highlights include:
• Significant downtown parks acquisition projects.
• North Langford school turf field and lights.
• Jordie Lunn Clubhouse.
• Purchase of an aerial truck and engine for the Langford Fire Department.
• Costs associated with next steps for the proposed expanded RCMP detachment.
• Sidewalk infill projects.
The Director of Finance also highlighted previous policy decisions to keep taxes low by increasing the use of the general amenity funds each year to offset tax increases. He further explained to Council that the continued use of this approach will have a compounding effect on future budgets and presents significant challenges to its sustainability. The proposed increase continues this approach by including a $1.7 million dollar contribution from general reserves to keep the rate as low as possible during a financially challenging budget year, however reliance on these funds is projected to be phased out over a five-year period.
As part of the budget deliberation process, Council will decide if they wish to include the purchase of the YW/YMCA building, proceed with the RCMP detachment expansion in the coming years, and adequately fund the asset management program. One possible financing scenario presented by staff would represent an additional 1% tax increase on top of the proposed 11.94% in 2023, and use of the majority of the $16.4 million dollar Growing Communities Fund Grant, as well as an additional 3.5% tax increase in each of the next four years.
A copy of the budget presentation and proposed Five-Year Financial Plan will be available at Langford.ca/Budget on Tuesday, March 28. The public will have the opportunity to provide input at the Thursday, March 30 (7pm) and Monday, April 3 (12pm) Committee of the Whole Meetings. Council will begin budget deliberations on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 (7pm). One day time, and one evening meeting were selected for public input to provide equal opportunity to residents not available in the evening when meetings are traditionally held. In addition to in-person or virtual participation, residents can submit written comments via email (email@example.com) or by mail to City Hall. For a list of all budget related meetings, and details on how to provide comments on the proposed 2023 budget visit Langford.ca/Budget.
Council will consider 1st, 2nd, and 3rd readings of the Bylaws on Monday, May 8, 2023 (7pm). Council will then consider adoption of the Bylaws on Thursday, May 11 (7pm).
The Community Charter requires that municipalities adopt a Five-year Financial Plan each year before May 15. The Financial Plan establishes the basis upon which property tax rates are calculated.
City of Langford
Senior Manager Business Development
250-391-3403 | firstname.lastname@example.org