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The City of Langford presents the draft 2024-2028 Five-year Financial Plan

The City of Langford presents the draft 2024-2028 Five-year Financial Plan

(Langford, B.C.) – On Thursday, February 8, 2024, City of Langford Council met as Committee of the Whole to receive a detailed report from staff on the proposed Five-year Financial Plan. The presentation included an overview of legislative and budgeting processes, how taxes are calculated, the proposed 2024-2028 Five-year Financial Plan, and a detailed review of significant budgetary impacts. This first step in the process will be followed by public input and further Council deliberation, including any amendments that may arise throughout the process. Council will then consider adoption of the City’s 2024-2028 Five-year Financial Plan.

The Financial Plan proposes an 11.79% property tax increase in 2024, representing budgetary pressures associated with maintaining City service levels to keep up with population growth, inflation, and significant public safety and recreation funding requests and obligations. Based on the proposed 11.79% tax increase, a representative residential property would see their municipal property taxes increase by $247. The following projected tax increases over four years are 11.19%, 7.87%, 7.99%, and 4.89%.

The projected 2024 tax increase represents significant budgetary impacts, including:

·       3 RCMP Officers

·       9 Fire Fighters

·       3 Community Safety and Municipal Bylaw Enforcement staff

·       $786,705 (1.75%) for the purchase of the YMCA Aquatics Facility or for asset management

·       Internal borrowing/debt repayment

·       Additional operating and maintenance costs associated with additional and aging assets

·       Inflation

·       Funding for non-protective services municipal staff

While the proposed tax increase is again high this year, Langford’s municipal taxes are projected to remain among the lowest of all municipalities within the Capital Regional District.

In addition to the above-noted budgetary commitments, the proposed budget includes multiple capital projects. Highlights include:

·       Completion of the Jordie Lunn Clubhouse

·       Porcher Park and Centennial Park improvements

·       Irwin Road improvements

·       Multi-use lanes and sidewalk infill projects

·       Fleet replacement

·       Culvert and creek improvements

·       Various land purchases

The Director of Finance addressed 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. While the financial viability of this practice is increasingly limited due to the compounding effect, the proposed financial plan continues this approach for 2024 by including a $1.7 million contribution from General Amenity Reserve to keep the tax increase as low as possible during another financially challenging budget year. Reliance on the General Amenity Reserve Fund to pay for ongoing operations is projected to be reduced to a sustainable level over a five-year period.

A copy of the budget presentation and proposed Five-Year Financial Plan is available at Langford.ca/Budget. The public will have the opportunity to provide input at the Tuesday, February 13 (7pm) and Tuesday, February 20 (12pm) Committee of the Whole Meetings. Council will begin budget deliberations following public input on February 20 and will continue deliberations on February 22 (7pm) and March 4 (7pm), if needed.

One daytime 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 to City Hall via email (budget2024@langford.ca) or by mail. For a list of all budget-related meetings and details on how to provide comments on the proposed 2024 budget, please visit Langford.ca/Budget.

Council will consider 1st, 2nd, and 3rd readings of the 2024-2028 Five-year Financial Plan Bylaw and 2024 Tax Rates Bylaw on Monday, April 16, 2024 (7pm). Council will then consider adoption of these two Bylaws on Monday, May 6, 2024 (7pm).

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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.

MEDIA CONTACT

City of Langford

Donna Petrie

Senior Manager Communications & Economic Development

250-391-3403 | dpetrie@langford.ca

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