Last Thursday (Oct 16) council and administration began the 2015 budget process, all meeting are open to the public and are being held in the council chambers. (Next meeting Oct 23, @ 2pm topic of discussion will be municipal reserves)
Last week administration reviewed the budget process with council who expressed their desire for a zero (0%) tax increase.
Is that realistic? I think so. Right now the process as just begun, we do not know what all the issues are and what exactly administration will be presenting to us during the budget process. We certainly have the option of coming back to the public with something other than zero. That is a decision that will be made by the majority of council at the end of budget process. (January 31,2015)
The following is some interesting Financial Information regarding the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and will certainly weight on my mind as we move forward through this process.
Net municipal property taxes collected 2007 $5,465,057
Net municipal property taxes for 2014 $6,729,350
Difference of $1,264,293 or 23.1%
2007 we did not collect, 2014 we are collecting $700,000
During 2014 we are collecting additional revenue of $2 million over what the municipality collected in 2007.
Cost of living (CPI)
Jan 1st 2007 CPI was 109.4
Sept 1st 2014 CPI is 125.8
The CPI has increased by 15% from Jan 1,2007 to Sept 1,2014 our tax revenue alone increased by 23% during that same time frame easily keeping pace with inflation.
The greatest cost any public sector organization incurs is wages/salaries/benefits, keep in mind the following numbers include all of our staff both unionized and administrative. This is where finding and eliminating inefficiencies is so critical. Neither we or any other organization, public or private sector can keep growing indefinitely.
2007 Wages/Salaries/Benefits $3,948,805
2014 Wages/Salaries/Benefits $5,655,650
Difference on wages/salaries/benefits $1,706,845 or 43.2%
Last night our Chief Finance Officer presented the following report that provides a lot of good information. http://www.crowsnestpass.com/public/download/documents/8719