How do you fund the budget?

    White Rock, like other British Columbia cities, provides a broad range of services, and we fund them from a limited revenue stream with only three main sources:

      • Property taxes
      • Utility fees
      • User fees (such as parking metre fees; dog and business licences; parking and building permits; recreation programs including pools, rinks, and fitness centres)

    Almost half of our operating revenues come from property taxes paid by residents and businesses. Over thirty percent comes from fees and other revenues, with the remainder from utilities.

    How is the budget created?

    The annual budget is not just about revenues and expenditures. It reflects what Council, businesses, residents, and the community value. We follow these steps to develop the budget each year. It’s a year-round process:

      • September: The budget approach for the following years plan is developed
      • September: The user fee review is completed
      • October to November: The Asset Improvement Plan is updated
      • October to January: The Budget Proposal is prepared 
      • December: Water Utility Rates are considered
      • February to April: The Budget Proposal is introduced and reviewed
      • May 15: The statutory deadline for budget and tax rate bylaws approval

    Can you incur debt?

    Municipal governments are required by provincial legislation to balance their budgets. While a municipality can incur debt to pay for large capital acquisitions, it cannot incur a deficit to fund day-to-day operations the same way senior levels of government can.

    What is the difference between the operating and capital budgets?

    The operating budget covers the day-to-day expenses required to deliver services to residents. These costs return year after year and include items like staff wages, office supplies and utilities. 

    The capital budget is used for long term investments like infrastructure and facilities, that are paid off over time. Road repairs, machinery, and maintenance of water treatment plants are all capital expenses.