2023 Financial Plan

City of White Rock - Proposed 2023 - 2027 Financial Plan


The Draft 2023 - 2027 Consolidated White Rock Financial Plan is available for preview. Citizens are welcome to provide comments below for Council’s review and consideration.

Council is currently in the midst of a comprehensive review process prior to finalizing and approving the financial plan by the legislated May 15 deadline.

The draft financial plan recommends an overall combined property and utilities tax increase of $442 or 7.64% for an average single-family home and $184 or 8.47% for a strata home.

The proposed increase is a result of the need to grow capital funding while maintaining service levels and keeping operating costs in check. It reflects a substantial contractual increase in policing costs, includes previously approved commitments, and provides a modest increase to protect for inflation in asset improvement funding.

Financial Plan Impact to Average Household (SFD) in 2023

2022
2023
Change $
Change %
Property Taxation



Municipal Operations
$ 2,157$ 2,382$ 22510.43%
Police Service
9931,033404.00%
Asset Improvement
7868718510.88%
Total Property Taxes
$ 3,936
$ 4,286$ 3508.90%
Utilities



Drainage Utility Charge
$ 555$ 579$ 244.32%
Solid Waste Utility Charge
345355102.90%
Sewer Utility Charge
265278134.91%
Water Utility Charge
686731456.56%
Total Utilities $ 1,851$ 1,943$ 924.97%
Total Annual Cost $ 5,787$ 6,229$ 4427.64%


Financial Plan Impact to Average Strata Unit in 2023

2022
2023
Change $Change %
Property Taxation



Municipal Operations
$ 818$ 903$ 8510.43%
Police Service
376391154.00%
Asset Improvement
2983303210.88%
Total Property Taxes$ 1,492$ 1,624$ 1328.90%
Utilities



Drainage Utility Charge
$ 167$ 175$ 84.79%
Sewer Utility Charge265278134.91%
Water Utility Charge
2472783112.55%
Total Utilities $ 679$ 731$ 527.66%
Total Annual Cost $ 2,171$ 2,355$ 184
8.47%



The Draft 2023 - 2027 Consolidated White Rock Financial Plan is available for preview. Citizens are welcome to provide comments below for Council’s review and consideration.

Council is currently in the midst of a comprehensive review process prior to finalizing and approving the financial plan by the legislated May 15 deadline.

The draft financial plan recommends an overall combined property and utilities tax increase of $442 or 7.64% for an average single-family home and $184 or 8.47% for a strata home.

The proposed increase is a result of the need to grow capital funding while maintaining service levels and keeping operating costs in check. It reflects a substantial contractual increase in policing costs, includes previously approved commitments, and provides a modest increase to protect for inflation in asset improvement funding.

Financial Plan Impact to Average Household (SFD) in 2023

2022
2023
Change $
Change %
Property Taxation



Municipal Operations
$ 2,157$ 2,382$ 22510.43%
Police Service
9931,033404.00%
Asset Improvement
7868718510.88%
Total Property Taxes
$ 3,936
$ 4,286$ 3508.90%
Utilities



Drainage Utility Charge
$ 555$ 579$ 244.32%
Solid Waste Utility Charge
345355102.90%
Sewer Utility Charge
265278134.91%
Water Utility Charge
686731456.56%
Total Utilities $ 1,851$ 1,943$ 924.97%
Total Annual Cost $ 5,787$ 6,229$ 4427.64%


Financial Plan Impact to Average Strata Unit in 2023

2022
2023
Change $Change %
Property Taxation



Municipal Operations
$ 818$ 903$ 8510.43%
Police Service
376391154.00%
Asset Improvement
2983303210.88%
Total Property Taxes$ 1,492$ 1,624$ 1328.90%
Utilities



Drainage Utility Charge
$ 167$ 175$ 84.79%
Sewer Utility Charge265278134.91%
Water Utility Charge
2472783112.55%
Total Utilities $ 679$ 731$ 527.66%
Total Annual Cost $ 2,171$ 2,355$ 184
8.47%


Ask questions or share comments on the proposed 2023 Financial Plan

Comments and questions received will be summarized (answered where applicable) and shared with Council at the March 27, 2023, Finance & Audit Committee meeting. 

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Removed by moderator.

Megs 11 months ago

I think Councilors are over paid!
Cut their pay in half.
They attend a meeting twice a month and don't seem to think about any of this budget stuff in between meetings.
If this were a real Corporation we all know what would happen to their employment status!

sunnyday 11 months ago

Here are some examples of City's out of control spending. Just throwing our tax money down the toilet:
Helen Father's Center Street Walkway consultants $180,000 -project cancelled.
Lawyers fees for the suit for the walkway estimated at $20,000-FOIR has been submitted.
Dhilon Report on Multi -Family Solid Waste -$105,000($45,000 over budget) - Initiative cancelled -taxpayers abandoned again for the second time.
Award winning budget report-$60,000- never used and just thrown in the trash bin.
Consultant hired for planning department-$168,000-produced report to build high-rises all over the city-once the public found out report was quickly shelved for later use.

sunnyday 11 months ago

Comments will be answered where applicable!! ALL comments ,citizens, deserve an answer to this inflated and poorly thought out Tax situation

JW 11 months ago

Property Taxes in White Rock are too high to start with, the city needs to make cuts, just as we have to make cuts in order to deal with price increases all around us.
What happened to the big surplus we were told about at election time ?
What is happening with the huge "VOLUNTARY/MANDATORY" contributions from the developers ?
A $60,000 charge for consulting is ridiculous. Cut all frivolous expenses, no conventions to attend,.
How many vehicles does the city own or lease ? Why new garbage trucks ? Would it be more cost effective to contract recycling/garbage collection ?
The City needs to run like a business, it has to operate with the available revenue, not just turn around and hit the residents with another tax increase.
What can we do to pay for higher prices and taxes ? Cut back on Medications ? Food ? lower Heat in the House ? drive less km's with our car ? no more going to restaurants ? WE ARE DOING ALL OF THIS !

Hans - 27 years in White Rock 11 months ago

Wow! What an insult to the White Rock Taxpayers. Due to this Council's superficial engagement with reviewing the budget the over spending and lack of accountability continues unabated.
What happened to all that so called "Business Acumen" they were espousing before the election?
I see no evidence of it with this budget.
In fact they refused to go over it line by line with each department.
Williams Lake has had 0% property tax increases over the last 10 years. In fact last year their council implemented a 10% decrease because they factored in increased property assessments .
This Council mentioned nothing about that major point . It's a double dipping property tax increase.They raised the percentage of increase to an obscene level and will skim more from you as your BC Property Assessments have gone through the roof.
The City may have won an award for their 2022 Budget Report but the Council of the day did nothing with the report and this Council is continuing on with the tradition.
This new Council blames the last Council for leaving such a fiscal mess but in actual fact when they had the opportunity to correct it they turned their backs ,threw their hands in the air and dumped it all on staff's lap with no directions given.
To make matters worse they abandoned Multi-family solid waste services for a second time without in so much as a comment . White Rock Taxpayers you are on your own with this bunch!

sunnyday 11 months ago

Why the water utility of Strata increase by 12.55% for strata whereas single unit home is only 6.56%?
Can't understand why the property tax increase will be higher on a Strata than Single Unit home.
Why police service increase is only 4% whereas Municipal Operations and Asset Improvement is more than 10%. Municipal Operations/Asset Improvement should not be increased to more than annual inflation, I have to cut down my spending in order to survive this inflationary period and I would expect our council will do the same and cut down its expenses or scale back whatever improvement you planned.

EE 11 months ago

It makes no sense to increase strata owners taxes more than single family homes. They have less strain on city resources such as roads and sewers, and don't even get their refuse removed. To think that water usage should go up 12.55% for strata is insane. What lawns are they watering??
If anything the single family homes should be paying more. That type of living is unsustainable and the strata should not be subsidizing such lavish lifestyles.

Michael Citizen 11 months ago

The financial plan is unfair to strata owners who have less property and require less actual utility support than large single family homes who have a much greater usage of water and services as well as a much larger property size. The council is specifically asking for a larger increase than the actual inflation increase in 2022. Moreover, they have made no actual plans or initiatives to show that the money they currently have or will get in 2023 have been audited correctly to ensure that waste and mismanagement are minimized. We have no proof that the city council is actually using the funds correctly.

mlcp777 11 months ago

March 15, 2023

Mayor and Council,
I attended the City Council Meeting on Monday evening with the intention of following up on my questions from May 2022, July 2022 and December 2022 about Staffing levels at City Hall.
Due to the strict observance by the Chairperson of the 2 minute time limit for the Q/A period I was unable to ask my question. It is challenging to understand why that same evening City Council found the time to discuss increasing the parking rates by .25 cents per hour for 27 minutes and “dining on the pier” for an additional 10 minutes but could not find 2 minutes to accommodate a question about the expenditure of 28 million dollars of tax payers money. A question that has been asked and never fully answered for more than a year.
My question on Monday evening was; will City Council introduce a motion directing City Staff to provide a spreadsheet of information about staffing costs at City Hall prior to the scheduled Finance and Audit Public Hearing on March 27?
I ask the question again now with the following detailed specificity that the 2 minute time limit for my question would not have allowed me to ask on Monday evening.
The information I am seeking is as follows: a spreadsheet that lists all of 180 positions referenced in the “Workforce Summary” on page 36 of the 2023 financial plan. The list should include the department, the job title, a brief job description, the total salary budgeted and the amount paid out for each position in 2021 and 2022. An estimate of the cost of benefits should also be included.
Background:
This information was originally requested by City Councillor Dave Chesney in March of 2022 at teach of the Finance and Audit meetings held with City Staff on March 1, 2 and 3 of last year. As a result of those requests a spreadsheet was provided to City Councillors in May of 2022.
I requested a copy of that spreadsheet on numerous occasions but was denied access as I was advised by the CAO Guillermo Ferraro that it was considered “confidential” and that I would “need to go through an FOI” to obtain the spreadsheet. In December, 7 months later, I was provided with that list of staff positions. The list contained only 119 positions of the 180 positions currently outlined in the financial plan and included no salary information.
Since then, I have repeatedly requested that the full list of positions including the salary and benefit costs, brief description and an indication of the amount of compensation paid for all the positions in 2021 and 2022 be provided for all interested residents to review.
I have received confirmation from City Staff that the total amount of compensation that will be allocated to salaries and benefits in 2023 is 28 million 657 thousand dollars!! That equates to over 2 million dollars per month for the 180 staff members.
Why is the new City Council not asking for a detailed review of the 180 positions that cost the taxpayers 2 million dollars per month?
More importantly why isn’t there a document readily available that provides information about all the staff positions and how much was paid for those positions every year?
We are continually being told that there are significant staff shortages and a number of high profile positions were vacant at times throughout last year. Surely the expenditure of 28 million dollars deserves a detailed analysis by the new Mayor and City Council.
Let’s be clear here, I am not asking for a dramatic reductions in City Staff but surely a detailed analysis of the 180 positions at City Hall could result in some efficiencies and cost savings being identified and targeted for a fiscal impact review?
Gary Gumley - White Rock Resident

Gary Gumley 12 months ago

Well I am glad I sent an inquiry into the staff and Council about the $5.7 million Provincial grant they received because now they are talking about using it to reduce taxes which they should have done without me mentioning it. I am taking the credit for it!
You don't have to beg the people you voted for to cut taxes ,you have a right to demand it . We are still paying lots of taxes for positions that the City never bothered filling.
So far it has been a very lackluster performance by this Council on reducing taxes especially since for the second time the council decided unanimously to abandon Multi-family Solid Waste pickup .
I hope we don't have to wait 4 years and elect another new council in order for the City to do something beneficial for us all instead of using their monopoly to just tax us and be done with us.
Multi-family Owners should get a tax break every year since the City is not providing us with essential solid waste pickup.

sunnyday 12 months ago

Not sure what happened to my last submission somehow it was deleted. To reiterate this council promised to get staffing under control yet I don't see that as a priority. Between parking and bylaw staff [10] you would think they would act on the infractions that go on everyday and not just drive past them. Our mayor and council answered many of my questions in the run up to the election and in examining the plans most have been ignored. Tax and tax seems to be the only answer, without question White Rock is the most unkempt 'city' in the lower mainland yet we have all kinds of staff that drive around the 20 square blocks and see nothing. Likely the staff is not to blame but the administration must have there own priorities, and not the citizen's. Losing funding for Helen Father's park is a disgrace again whose job was that? The new council needs to get the city under control, as they promised.

abs156 12 months ago

I am opposed to the suggested large increase in taxation. I have lived for many years on a fixed income as have many of my neighbors. I have learned to cut costs when I have new or increased expenses.
There is a process called zero-based budgeting that should be implemented for your managers in order to get your costs under control. Simply, it requires managers to justify all of their requested budgets, and NOT pile new costs on the assumption that previous budgets are fixed and should increase for inflation. The system will actually result in cost savings that can be used for new expenditures.

fspencer 12 months ago

We are opposed to the extent of the increase. We realize that inflation has am impact on the cost of services but the rate is too high.
It will be especially onerous for those in our community who are on a fixed incomes and are already struggling to cover the costs they carry already.

Delores 12 months ago

I totally understand we are in hard times and high inflation rates. I, as a resident, am fully aware of this and cannot support this being reflected with higher taxes. Like myself, the city needs to cut back on costs, ie. salaries or take a good look at where this could happen. With all the new highrises built and being built in our beautiful seaside community, this was supposed to increase our tax base...so where is all that money going? We have to put up with the change in our lovely city, increased density and not attractive high rises, for what? it seems. Please get back to the table to discuss ways of cutting back this proposed tax increase, ie. creative budgeting, as I have to in my personal life. Thank you.

Colleen 12 months ago

I agree with the increase. I have been living here for about 7 years in a strata. Over that time, I have seen services decrease and the city often looking unkempt. It is unrealistic to imagine that with costs going up everywhere, that a small city with a limited tax base can manage to deal with rising costs without taxes increasing.

I want to mention that I would much prefer to have had the City develop its own infrastructure, rather than choose to have a mix of private contractors doing solid waste pickup. It is costing me more as a strata owner, with poorer service and the sad knowledge of living where much is not recycled properly.

Linda Rubuliak 12 months ago

Council members - I am astonished with your proposal to boost White Rock taxes by a whopping 9% for single family households combined with a further 5% for utilities. This is completely irresponsible, given you were just elected in the fall. Clearly you are not up to the task of keeping taxes affordable for city residents. During Covid, the City was essentially shut down to the public, yet the council of the day still hiked taxes in both years. At times, it felt like we, as taxpayers, were working for the benefit of the employees first and the needs of taxpayers and the community came second.

I recently retired as CEO of a large corporation and I can tell you that while navigating inflation and labour shortages, the price increase we put through to our customers averaged 3% for the past three years. It comes down to making tough choices and in many cases learning how to say no, or at least negotiate more firmly. It also helps to come up with more creative solutions. It appears all you have done is to take what you spent last year, add 9-10% to most costs and presto, you have your new budget. We have been taxpayers for a SFH in White Rock for 8.5 years and despite the obvious increase in the tax base through development, you are unable to control spending at the City level. You simply have to cut the cost base for operations by at least 5%, or I suggest that we have another election and elect people who are prepared to make the tough decisions necessary to reduce the tax hit for people struggling to meet their monthly budgets in this city.

If you are so inclined to want to reduce taxes, but don't know how to do it, I will volunteer my time to assist you in this task.. I have overseen annual budgets as high as $400 million, so I think you could use some help, because the approach you are taking makes me believe we don't have competent people at City Hall at both the CAO level and on council.

Other municipalities like Port Coquitlam have managed to keep tax increases reasonable in this time of inflation, and it is time for White Rock to follow suit.

Regards,

Rick O'Connor
15122 Victoria Avenue.

Rick O'Connor 12 months ago

Under WHITE ROCK FINANCIAL SERVICES on page 53 and 54 there is mention of a "implementation of the new financial system" -- I am wondering if this is regarding the potential widespread global adoption of Digital Currencies, more specifically ISO 20022, the standard that is said that will be used for global payments and trading.

If this is not what the Financial Plan document is outlining, perhaps the proposed "new financial system" could be a potentially waste of finances if we are just going to be switching to digital currencies in the near future. Is White Rock/BC going to move forward with the use of Central Bank Digital Currency? Is that something that has even been discussed at council?

Thank you for your time.

Adam 12 months ago

I honestly cannot believe White Rock , being a growing high density small city can justify a 9% property tax increase. You say it’s for “ police and asset improvements “ Take a good look at the front of our one and only police station. It’s falling apart. What an embarrassment.

Mike - I’ve lived here for 50+ years 12 months ago

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback. I think we all agree that these are unusual and difficult times financially at all levels. Speaking as someone who is retired and therefore on a fixed income, as many people are in White Rock, these times require not only a thoughtfulness and "pulling back" when we're at the grocery store but also in government. It's not business as usual. I suggest that council suspend program funding for anything that is not essential temporarily until this crisis passes. This needs to be reflected in any proposed increase to our already very high taxes. An almost $40 increase a month is absolutely too high.

Rose Marie 12 months ago
Page last updated: 17 Mar 2023, 07:31 PM