Operating Budget - 2016 Budget Summary

Budget Development Overview

The Region's budget development is based on the premise that outside of best efforts to reduce budgets and minimize the potential of annual increases, a framework is provided that sets a ceiling for annual budgets - tied directly to economic factors in our community.

In our annual and multi-year budgeting, we set a financial target to ensure practical and cautious use of taxpayer dollars. This direction is provided at the beginning of the budget process, typically in early June of each year. This applies to all departments, boards and agencies.

The methodology is set by adding the annual inflation pressures for goods and services (the Niagara Region uses the Bank of Canada's Core Consumer Price Index to estimate), with our forecast assessment growth, in a given year from new properties.

The goal is to ensure that budgets brought forward are considered affordable to the average tax payer. Refer to the appendix for a full review of all financial policies followed by the Niagara Region.

Operating Budget Overview

Niagara Region's budget serves as a means to allocate resources that will provide the services and maintain the infrastructure that residents and businesses depend on.

The operating budget process begins in March of each year, running through to December. Unlike some other levels of government, our municipal budget year mirrors the calendar year, running from January to December.

While the budget is typically approved in December, final tax rates are not set until the February of the following year, as the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation uses December to finalize property assessments.

Historical Assessment Growth

Historical assessment growth chart

Read a text-only description of the historical assessment growth chart.

This chart shows that since 2012, Niagara Region's annual tax levy increases have averaged 1.8%, after assessment growth is considered.

The operating budget provides for the everyday operation of Niagara Region's services and programs. It includes salaries and benefits, the purchase of services from other groups, companies or agencies, along with costs for repairs and maintenance, and materials and supplies. It would be the equivalent of your personal budget for groceries, a morning coffee, lunch and gas for your vehicle.

The budget process requires each department, board and agency to review their existing budgets to historical spend. This process is supported by our quarterly variance forecasting.

In addition to a review of prior spending patterns, adjustments are made for known process improvements and efficiencies, the economic indicators of the community, and strategic priorities, as established by Regional Council.

In a typical budget year, department budgets are completed in early September and presented and reviewed by Council over a three month period concluding with approval in December. The 2016 budget was approved by Council on Dec. 3, 2015.

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Operating Budget Revenue Summary

Description   2015 Budget* 2016 Budget 2016 Budget Change
Taxation - Levy   $ (336,569,992) $ (339,399,869) $ (2,829,877)
Taxation - Rate   (143,697,496) (143,390,524) 306,972
Federal and Provincial Grants   (274,551,551) (290,948,057) (16,396,506)
By-law Charges and Sales   (27,618,695) (27,542,363) 76,332
Other Revenue   (65,932,333) (65,269,237) 663,099
Transfers from Reserves   (14,756,251) (13,471,699) 1,284,552
Total Revenue   $(863,126,318) $(880,021,749) $(16,895,428)
REVENUE SUMMARY DETAIL      
Taxation - Levy        
  Levy (321,897,516) (325,108,233) (3,210,717)
  Payment in Lieu (10,277,547) (10,016,636) 260,911
  Supplemental (4,394,929) (4,275,000) 119,929
    (336,569,992) (339,399,869) (2,829,877)
Taxation - Rate        
  Wastewater (66,151,788) (65,993,756) 158,032
  Water (41,966,906) (42,095,472) (128,566)
  Waste Management (35,578,802) (35,301,296) 277,506
    (143,697,496) (143,390,524) 306,972
Federal and Provincial Grants        
  Community Services (196,612,156) (210,950,198) (14,338,042)
  Corporate Services (59,022) (60,202) (1,180)
  Emergency Services (23,619,288) (25,302,267) (1,682,979)
  Niagara Regional Housing (13,639,078) (13,847,131) (208,053)
  Niagara Regional Police Services (7,504,609) (8,024,366) (519,757)
  Public Health (33,117,398) (32,413,893) 703,505
  Public Works Levy   (350,000) (350,000)
    (274,551,551) (290,948,057) (16,396,506)
By-law Charges and Sales        
  Community Services (2,192,171) (2,206,775) (14,604)
  Corporate Administration (2,500) (4,000) (1,500)
  Corporate Services (260,389) (255,389) 5,000
  Emergency Services (2,504) (3,500) (996)
  General Government (80,000) (80,000)  
  Governance   (500) (500)
  Niagara Regional Police Services (7,158,390) (6,775,480) 382,910
  Planning and Development (970,548) (1,078,244) (107,696)
  Public Health (391,119) (329,531) 61,588
  Public Works Levy (3,087,862) (3,136,390) (48,528)
  Waste Management Services (12,235,262) (12,606,354) (371,092)
  Water and Wastewater Services (1,237,950) (1,066,200) 171,750
    (27,618,695) (27,542,363) 76,332
Other Revenue        
  Court Services (8,734,995) (8,323,195) 411,800
  Development Charges (2,079,000) (1,484,000) 595,000
  Investment Income (11,399,701) (11,525,420) (125,719)
  Niagara Regional Housing Revenue (13,438,688) (13,377,388) 61,300
  Police Secondment Revenue (1,418,514) (891,490) 527,024
  Proceeds on Rent, Concessions and Franchises (489,939) (444,200) 45,739
  Proceeds on the Disposal of Capital Assets (515,000) (485,000) 30,000
  Seniors Homes (21,910,917) (22,131,206) (220,289)
  Waste Management Services (4,144,843) (4,689,651) (544,808)
  Other (1,800,736) (1,917,687) (116,948)
    (65,932,333) (65,269,237) 663,099
Transfers from Reserves        
  Capital Financing Costs (1,931,141) (3,871,999) (1,940,858)
  Corporate Communications (200,000)   200,000
  Community Services (1,064,013) (158,610) 905,403
  Corporate Services (38,365) (641,592) (603,227)
  Economic Incentives   (250,000) (250,000)
  Emergency Services (1,448,313) (1,132,496) 315,817
  Net Revenue Budget (2,075,419) (1,649,700) 425,719
  Niagara Regional Housing (24,000) (417,302) (393,302)
  Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (300,000) (300,000)  
  Niagara Regional Police Services (400,000) (400,000)  
  Planning and Development (1,500,000) (1,000,000) 500,000
  Public Works Levy (550,000) (450,000) 100,000
  Sick Leave Payout (275,000) (200,000) 75,000
  Water and Wastewater Services (4,950,000) (3,000,000) 1,950,000
    (14,756,251) (13,471,699) 1,284,552
  Total Revenue $(863,126,318) $(880,021,749) $(16,895,428)

*Includes in year budget adjustments

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2016 Budget Reconciliation Cash versus Accruals

The Niagara Region, like most municipalities, does not budget for amortization and its annual impact on tangible capital assets, changes in the employee future benefit liabilities, and changes in the solid waste landfill closure and post closure costs liability.

These items are required to show the Niagara Region's net financial position for Public Sector Accounting Board reporting purposes, but are mostly non-cash items and therefore not included in the operating budget presented.

Revenue 2015 Budget* 2016 Budget Budget Change
Taxation - Levy $ (336,569,992) $ (339,399,869) $ (2,829,877)
Taxation - Rate (143,697,496) (143,390,524) 306,972
Federal and Provincial Grants (274,551,551) (290,948,057) (16,396,506)
By-law Charges and Sales (27,618,695) (27,542,363) 76,332
Other Revenue (65,932,333) (65,269,237) 663,099
Transfers from Funds (14,756,251) (13,471,699) 1,284,552
Total Revenue $(863,126,318) $(880,021,749) $(16,895,428)
Expense      
Departments 440,733,743 456,920,033 16,186,290
Boards and Agencies 73,984,327 74,301,274 316,947
General Government 18,287,413 22,559,952 4,272,536
Niagara Regional Police Services 161,796,545 160,657,356 (1,139,189)
Rate Programs 168,324,290 165,583,134 (2,741,156)
Total Expense $863,126,318 $880,021,749 $16,895,428
Net Surplus / (Deficit) - - -
Public Sector Accounting Board Reporting Requirements    
Capital Program Funding earned in a year 96,900,000 105,100,000 8,200,000
Capital Projects not resulting in tangible capital assets (10,000,000) (11,200,000) (1,200,000)
Amoritization (70,000,000) (68,500,000) 1,500,000
Principal Debt Repayment 54,200,000 53,600,000 (600,000)
Landfill Liability decrease 600,000   (600,000)
Employee future benefits increase (3,800,000) (3,200,000) 600,000
Net Public Sector Accounting Board Reporting Surplus $67,900,000 $75,800,000 $7,900,000

*Includes in year budget adjustments

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Multi-year Levy Budget Summary

Object of Expenditure 2015 Budget* 2016 Budget 2017 Budget 2018 Budget
Compensation $ 347,154,151 $ 351,268,664 $ 360,215,385 $ 367,752,304
Administrative 28,961,763 28,997,841 28,842,304 28,214,869
Operational and Supply 42,282,445 41,312,754 41,275,857 41,852,577
Occupancy and Infrastructure 25,751,219 26,621,512 27,202,152 27,733,642
Equipment, Vehicles, Technology 13,853,962 12,460,329 13,184,251 13,327,468
Community Assistance 161,260,922 173,501,572 175,701,276 181,374,133
Partnership, Rebate, Exemption 12,922,200 13,261,061 14,231,213 14,615,172
Financial Expenditures 46,999,479 46,593,442 41,534,199 40,471,449
Transfers to Funds 34,583,073 37,245,626 42,453,857 45,609,317
Expense Allocations to Capital (150,000) (202,500) (204,300) (206,116)
Allocation Between Departments (2,307,440) (1,774,347) (1,809,226) (1,815,476)
Allocation Within Departments (242,221) (226,077)    
Gross Expenditure 711,069,553 729,059,877 742,626,968 758,929,339
Taxation (14,672,476) (14,291,633) (14,310,499) (14,329,612)
Federal and Provincial Grants (274,551,551) (290,948,057) (297,835,883) (307,174,349)
By-law Charges and Sales (14,145,483) (13,869,809) (14,002,811) (14,052,984)
Other Revenue (59,728,751) (59,749,181) (59,869,001) (60,048,944)
Transfers From Funds (9,806,251) (10,471,699) (8,324,711) (7,473,450)
Gross Revenue (372,904,512) (389,330,379) (394,342,905) (403,079,339)
Net Direct Expenditure before Indirect Allocation 338,165,041 339,729,498 348,284,063 355,850,000
Indirect Allocation (4,974,272) (5,236,075) (5,611,199) (5,651,141)
Debt Allocation (11,293,253) (9,385,190) (8,413,827) (8,480,770)
Net Indirect Allocation (16,267,525) (14,621,265) (14,025,026) (14,131,911)
Net Expenditure after Indirect Allocation $321,897,516 $325,108,233 $334,259,037 $341,718,089
Net Tax Levy 3.07% 1.02% 2.81% 2.23%
Assessment Growth 1.15% 1.02%    
Tax Levy After Assessment Growth 1.92% 0.00%    

*Includes in year budget adjustments

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2016 Operating Summary by Department

Description 2015 Gross Expenditure* 2015 Revenue* 2015 Net Expenditure* 2016 Gross Expenditure 2016 Revenue 2016 Net Expenditure 2016 Gross Change 2016 Gross Change 2016 Net Change 2016 Net Change
Corporate Administration $ 3,627,253 $ (608,230) $ 3,019,023 $ 2,821,232 $ (335,000) $ 2,486,232 $ (806,021) -22.2% $ (532,791) -17.6%
Community Services 267,982,422 (221,939,387) 46,043,035 281,800,773 (235,416,689) 46,384,084 13,818,351 5.2% 341,049 0.7%
Corporate Services 612,101 (612,101)   1,411,232 (1,411,231) 1 799,131 130.6% 1 0.0%
Economic Development 2,796,799   2,796,799 3,360,298   3,360,298 563,499 20.1% 563,499 20.1%
Emergency Services 48,119,851 (25,244,843) 22,875,008 50,971,508 (26,616,088) 24,355,420 2,851,657 5.9% 1,480,412 6.5%
Governance 3,198,225 (32,400) 3,165,825 3,260,895 (32,900) 3,227,995 62,670 2.0% 62,170 2.0%
Planning and Development 7,368,985 (2,810,548) 4,558,437 7,192,862 (2,338,244) 4,854,618 (176,123) -2.4% 296,181 6.5%
Public Health 45,267,095 (33,572,170) 11,694,925 45,239,155 (32,821,924) 12,417,231 (27,940) -0.1% 722,306 6.2%
Public Works Levy 61,761,012 (4,436,048) 57,324,964 60,862,083 (5,366,869) 55,495,214 (898,929) -1.5% (1,829,750) -3.2%
Regional Departments 440,733,743 (289,255,727) 151,478,016 456,920,038 (304,338,945) 152,581,093 16,186,295 3.7% 1,103,077 0.7%

2016 Operating Summary by Department continued

Description 2015 Gross Expenditure* 2015 Revenue* 2015 Net Expenditure* 2016 Gross Expenditure 2016 Revenue 2016 Net Expenditure 2016 Gross Change 2016 Gross Change 2016 Net Change 2016 Net Change
Niagara Regional Police Service 161,796,545 (16,800,983) 144,995,562 160,657,356 (16,643,536) 144,013,820 (1,139,189) -0.7% (981,742) -0.7%
Court Services 7,901,157 (8,734,995) (833,838) 7,489,357 (8,323,195) (833,838) (411,800) -5.2%   0.0%
Niagara Regional Housing 58,518,489 (27,101,766) 31,416,723 59,438,504 (27,688,336) 31,750,168 920,015 1.6% 333,445 1.1%
Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority 7,564,681 (493,304) 7,071,377 7,373,413 (303,230) 7,070,183 (191,268) -2.5% (1,194) 0.0%
Outside Boards and Agencies 235,780,872 (53,131,048) 182,649,824 234,958,630 (52,958,297) 182,000,333 (822,242) -0.3% (649,491) -0.4%

2016 Operating Summary by Department continued

Description 2015 Gross Expenditure* 2015 Revenue* 2015 Net Expenditure* 2016 Gross Expenditure 2016 Revenue 2016 Net Expenditure 2016 Gross Change 2016 Gross Change 2016 Net Change 2016 Net Change
Debt Charges 1,931,141 (1,931,141)   3,871,997 (3,871,999) (2) 1,940,856 100.5% (2) 0.0%
Capital Levy               0.0%   0.0%
Smarter Niagara Incentive 1,403,000   1,403,000 1,655,228 (250,000) 1,405,228 252,228 18.0% 2,228 0.2%
Development Charge Grants 800,000   800,000 800,000   800,000   0.0%   0.0%
Youth Retention 60,000   60,000 60,000   60,000   0.0%   0.0%
Regional Programs and NHS Facility 1,081,750   1,081,750 996,750   996,750 (85,000) -7.9% (85,000) -7.9%
Wainfleet Beach 40,100   40,100 40,100   40,100   0.0%   0.0%
General Government 5,315,991 (1,931,141) 3,384,850 7,424,075 (4,121,999) 3,302,076 2,108,084 39.7% (82,774) -2.4%

2016 Operating Summary by Department continued

Description 2015 Gross Expenditure* 2015 Revenue* 2015 Net Expenditure* 2016 Gross Expenditure 2016 Revenue 2016 Net Expenditure 2016 Gross Change 2016 Gross Change 2016 Net Change 2016 Net Change
Payments in Lieu   (10,277,547) (10,277,547)   (10,016,636) (10,016,636)   0.0% 260,911 -2.5%
Property Assessment 5,878,136   5,878,136 5,862,945   5,862,945 (15,191) -0.3% (15,191) -0.3%
Tax Revenue - Supplemental taxes   (4,394,929) (4,394,929)   (4,275,000) (4,275,000)   0.0% 119,929 -2.7%
Tax Revenue - Written off 5,287,862   5,287,862 4,968,648   4,968,648 (319,214) -6.0% (319,214) -6.0%
Tax Rebates 630,422   630,422 658,400   658,400 27,978 4.4% 27,978 4.4%
Other Revenues   (74,000) (74,000) (67,968) (79,385) (147,353) (67,968) -100.0% (73,353) 99.1%
Surplus Revenues 325,000 (365,000) (40,000) 325,000 (365,000) (40,000)   0.0%   0.0%
Taxpayer Relief Reserve 850,000 (1,300,000) (450,000) 3,388,847 (1,000,000) 2,388,847 2,533,847 298.7% 2,838,847 -630.9%
Investment Income   (12,175,120) (12,175,120)   (12,175,120) (12,175,120)   0.0%   0.0%
Subtotal Other Funding 12,971,420 (28,586,596) (15,615,176) 15,135,872 (27,911,141) (12,775,269) 2,164,452 16.7% 2,839,907 -18.2%
  $694,802,026 $(372,904,512) $321,897,514 $714,438,615 $(389,330,382) $325,108,233 $19,636,589 2.8% $3,210,719 1.02%
Assessment Growth                   1.02%
Net Tax Levy                   0.00%

2016 Operating Summary by Department continued

Self Supporting Requisitions 2015 Gross Expenditure* 2015 Revenue* 2015 Net Expenditure* 2016 Gross Expenditure 2016 Revenue 2016 Net Expenditure 2016 Gross Change 2016 Gross Change 2016 Net Change 2016 Net Change
Wastewater 73,993,238 (7,841,450) 66,151,788 71,087,956 (5,094,200) 65,993,756 (2,905,282) -3.9% (158,032) -0.2%
Water 42,372,145 (405,239) 41,966,906 42,417,973 (322,500) 42,095,473 45,828 0.1% 128,567 0.3%
Waste Management 51,958,907 (16,380,105) 35,578,802 52,077,205 (16,775,907) 35,301,298 118,298 0.2% (277,504) -0.8%
  $168,324,290 $(24,626,794) $143,697,496 $165,583,134 $(22,192,607) $143,390,527 $(2,741,156) -1.6% $(306,969) -0.2%
  $863,126,316 $(397,531,506) $465,595,010 $880,021,749 $(411,522,989) $(468,498,760) $16,895,433 2.0% $2,903,750 0.6%

*Includes in year budget adjustments

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