Municipal Budget

Feedback Wanted: Click Here to provide input into the Draft 2021-2025 Financial Plan. 


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Understanding the Municipal Budget

How does the budget process work? The financial planning period for municipalities must include the current fiscal year and the next four fiscal years (five-year plan). Each year, the District of Tofino updates its Five Year Financial Plan, which includes operating and capital budgets for each of the five years contained in the Plan. 

What's involved in budgeting considerations? Municipalities are required to prepare a balanced budget each year - while a municipality can incur debt to pay for large capital projects, we cannot incur a deficit to fund day to day operations the same way senior levels of government can. In order to balance the budget, a careful analysis must be done regarding the level of service required to meet the expectations of the community balanced against realistic taxation and user fee levels.

How is the public involved? Tofino residents and businesses are encouraged to make Council aware of your priorities, whether you value more parks, reserves for infrastructure, an age-friendly community, or low taxes. We invite you to attend budget meetings, learn about the process, understand the issues and the challenges, and let Council know your thoughts. District staff are available to answer questions, distribute your feedback to Council, and provide clarity. 

In general, the annual budget process is as follows:

October/November
First Budget Meeting

This is a high-level overview of proposed projects for the next 5 years.
November-February Public Consultation This includes Open Houses, Feedback Forms, Presentations to stakeholders, etc.
January
Second Budget Meeting
Public Feedback is presented to Council in conjunction with staff recommendations. Prioritization of initiatives and projects.
March
Third Budget Meeting
Review budget for approval of changes based on Feedback.
April
Regular Council Meeting
Introduction of Five-Year Financial Plan and Annual Tax Rate Bylaws
Before May 15th 
Adoption of Bylaws
Submit to Ministry responsible for Municipal Affairs

*All meetings are open to the public and advertised in advance.

Sign up for District Emails or follow us on  Facebook  or   Twitter to receive notifications about District Meetings. 

2021 BUDGET PROCESS

The 2021-2025 Financial Planning Process has Begun!

Click to View Draft 2021-2025 Financial Plan Presentation and Detailed Slides

Click to see detailed information about proposed 2021-2025 Projects, such as:

  • Forest and Tree Protection Strategy and Bylaw
  • Housing Needs Assessment 
  • Recreation Strategic Plan
  • Community Hall Upgrades
  • Tsunami Siren 4 - Mackenzie Beach
  • Cemetery Improvements
  • Cox Bay South (Maltby) Washrooms
  • Skatepark Repairs and Resurfacing
  • Tennis & Basketball Court Upgrades and Accessibility Improvements
  • Pay Parking and Permit Program
  • Climate Action Planning - Mitigation and Adaptation

AND MORE!

What Has Happened So Far:

First Budget Meeting November 5, 2020
Surveys/Open Houses SURVEY OPEN NOW UNTIL JAN. 4, 2021
Second Budget Meeting TBD
Open House     TBD
Third Budget Meeting 
 
TBD
Adoption of Financial Plan & Annual Tax Rate Bylaws TBD

2021-2025 Financial Plan Feedback Form:

Open until January 4, 2021.

LEARN MORE:

What does Property Tax cover?

Tofino’s property taxes are collected to address three main areas of expenditures:

1. The general municipal operations budget to deliver services to the community, such as roads, parking, parks, trails, recreation programs, planning and development services, fire protection, bylaw enforcement, emergency planning, and much more.

2. Debt servicing required for long-term loans taken out to build infrastructure such as water reservoirs or sewer infrastructure.

3. A Capital and Infrastructure Levy (“C&I Levy”), which effectively builds savings accounts to maintain and replace infrastructure from roads to pipes to buildings. 

In 2019, just under 15% of the total municipal budget was funded by taxation, the majority of revenue came from grants at 44%

Why are increases needed?

Generally speaking, the forecasted increases are needed:

  • To account for rising costs of fuel, hydro, materials and supply inventory, equipment, professional fees, wages and benefits and other operating costs;
  • To pay for services and facilities that Tofitians expect – such as clean drinking water and fire protection – as well as to pay for services that Council sees as important to our community’s health and well-being, such as robust by-law enforcement or a new recreation facility;
  • To pay for services that Tofino has been mandated to deliver, namely sewage treatment; and
  • To adequately set aside savings (a.k.a. reserves) that will pay for the true costs of annually maintaining roads, pipes, parks, and buildings so that Tofitians can benefit from them for years without worrying that sudden tax increases will be needed to fix and replace them when they break, wear out, or become unsafe.
How is public feedback used?

Tofino residents and businesses are encouraged to make Council aware of your priorities, whether you value more parks, reserves for infrastructure, an age-friendly community, or low taxes.

We invite the public to attend budget meetings, learn about the process, understand the issues and the challenges, and let Council know. District staff are available to answer questions, distribute your feedback to Council, and provide clarity. 

In general, the annual budget process is as follows:

  • October/November - First Budget Meeting: This is a high-level overview of proposed projects for the next 5 years.
  • November - February - Public Consultation: This includes Open Houses, Feedback Forms, Presentations
  • January - Second Budget Meeting: Public Feedback is presented to Council in conjunction with staff recommendations. Prioritization of initiatives and projects.
  • March - Third Budget Meeting: Review budget for approval of changes based on Feedback.
  • April - Final Budget Meeting: Introduction of Five-Year Financial Plan and Annual Tax Rate Bylaws
  • Before May 15th Adoption of Bylaws: Submit to Ministry responsible for Municipal Affairs.

To learn more about how tax rates are set, the relationship between your property assessment and your tax bill, and other general information please check our "Understanding Property Taxes" page.


For more information or to ask questions, please feel free to contact us :

Financial Services
(E) budget@tofino.ca.
(T) 250-725-3229