Municipal Budget

CLICK HERE: Give Feedback on Proposed 2020-2024 Projects

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. 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
2nd Budget Meeting
Public Feedback is presented to Council in conjunction with staff recommendations. Prioritization of initiatives and projects.
March
3rd 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. 

2020 BUDGET

To view a list of projects being considered for the 2020-2024 Financial Plan, or to view the presentation slides from the Special Budget Meeting held October 31, 2019, please click on the link provided below:

Thank you! District Staff will address your common questions and feedback at upcoming Open Houses, Budget Meetings, Newsletters, or FAQ's.

2019 BUDGET

The following information has been compiled to address major themes in the public feedback received about the 2019-2023 Financial Plan and 2019 Municipal Budget.  Click on the link below to view the presentation:

For more information or to ask questions about anything you see in this presentation, please feel free to contact us:

Nyla Attiana
Director of Financial Services
(E) nattiana@tofino.ca
(T) 250-725-3229

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%

What is the expected tax increase over the next five years?

Municipalities must forecast their budgets for five years, and present a balanced budget for each of these years.

The wastewater treatment project is the largest project the District has ever undertaken, and by 2020 the full effects of its cost will show up in property tax requisitions. The municipal operations budget is forecast to continue to rise at 2% per year.

The only changes that are certain in any given year are those of the current year. The 2019-2023 Financial Plan shows increases as follows:

  • 2020: 9.28% 

  • 2021: 23.05% 

  • 2022: 4.03% 

  • 2023: 3.90% 

These amounts may change if projects such as the recreation facility do not go forward or are delayed.

This information will be updated each year during the Financial Planning Process. 

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.
View a Breakdown of Municipal Property Taxation by Year (2019-2023)

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 help you answer your questions and provide a fulsome picture of Tofino's Five Year Financial Plan, we created the "2019 Tofino Tax Guide" with information about our priorities, challenges, and plans for the next five years.  This guide was mailed with all Property Tax Notices.

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. Here you'll find information and links such as:

  • Annual Tax Rates
  • How to calculate your Property Taxes
  • How Property Assessments impact your Tax Bill