CITY OF WINNIPEG LAUNCHES MULTI-YEAR BALANCED BUDGET PROCESS

Winnipeg, October 18, 2019 - Today, at a special meeting of the Executive Policy Committee, Mayor Brian Bowman and Councillor Scott Gillingham, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Finance, will launch the first ever 4 year balanced budget process which builds on improvements from previous budgets and incorporates the first multi-year approach that more actively involves input from all members of Council through the Standing Policy Committees.

“There has been a desire for a greater level of input from all members of Council, and this new process will improve on previous budget processes and allow us to be even more open and transparent with our budgets with all Councillors in a public forum,” said Mayor Bowman. “We want members of the public to have earlier input and all members of Council to shape recommendations for departmental budgets that feed into the overall consolidated draft budgets.”

Four months in advance of the budget being tabled, this process is beginning with a call for collaboration from Councillors, departments, and the public to help guide recommendations to balance the multi-year budgets.

In order to balance the City’s multi-year budgets over the next four years, operational costs for departments will be limited to sustainable targets and capital investments will also be capped. Departments will be asked to prepare their annual operating budgets and capital investment programs using recommended targets for annual adjustments, and will then be asked to make presentations to their respective Standing Policy Committee with suggested options to meet their targets. Members of the public will be invited to appear in delegation after the departments have made their presentations. Once that process has concluded, the Standing Policy Committees will provide multi-year budget recommendations on how the City departments can work within identified expenditure targets.

All recommendations brought forward from the Standing Policy Committees will be forwarded to Executive Policy Committee to consider when preparing the draft operating and capital budgets, as required by law. It is expected the draft operating and capital budgets will be tabled in February 2020 and discussed at Standing Policy Committee meetings through March 2020. The multi-year budget will be voted on by Council before March 31, 2020, as required by law.

“Introducing a four year balanced budget process will help the City with long-term, sustainable planning,” said Councillor Gillingham. “This multi-year balanced budget aims to control expenses, invest in priority services, drive efficiencies, and achieve sustainability and greater certainty for taxpayers, stakeholders and the Federal and Provincial governments.”
City departments are being asked to reach the following expenditure targets in their operating budgets:

2% annual increases (2020-2023)
Winnipeg Police Service
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service
Transit
Water and Waste

1.5% annual increases (2020-2023)
Public Works

0.5% annual increases (2020-2023)
Community Services

All other tax-supported city departments and special operating agencies will be asked to hold their operating budgets steady over the 4 year budget period at the levels approved in the 2019 Operating Budget.

The City’s capital budget is financed by a number of sources such as cash, debt, reserves, provincial and federal transfers, and others. In order to help balance the multi-year operating budgets, the recommended annual cash investment to the capital budget is $20 million instead of the previously forecasted levels of approximately $65 to $70 million annually. This will help bridge the gap in the operating budget by about $45 to $50 million every year. It is recommended the City also limit additional debt funding for capital projects that are not already in the 2019 capital forecast. 

The expectation is that property tax increases will continue to be held at 2.33% annually, dedicated to road renewal and Bus Rapid Transit; City fees, charges and rates will only increase at the rate of inflation annually unless explicitly authorized by Council for specific initiatives such as upgrades to the North End Waste Water Treatment Plant.

“Citizen needs and expectations are evolving,” said Councillor Gillingham. “This multi-year balanced budget process provides an opportunity to develop a transformative budget that creates a sustainable financial plan to meet the dynamic needs of a growing city.” 

“Creating a multi-year balanced budget will require difficult decisions to be made by Council and we want all members of Council to participate in the discussion from the onset,” said Mayor Bowman. 


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BACKGROUND:

Schedule of Special Standing Policy Committee Meetings on the Multi-year Budget

Tuesday, November 12 - 1:30pm
Winnipeg Police Board – Budget Presentations

Wednesday, November 13 – 2:00pm
SPC on IRPW – Budget Presentations
Transit Department
Public Works Department (excludes Parks and Open Spaces Division)

Thursday, November 14 – 1:30pm
SPC on WWRME – Budget Presentations
Water and Waste Department
Planning, Property and Development Department (Riverbank Management Division)
Friday, November 15 – 8:30am
SPC on PPDHDD – Budget Presentations
Planning, Property and Development Department

Friday, November 15 – 1:30pm
SPC on PCSP – Budget Presentations
Community Services Department
Public Works Department (Parks and Open Spaces Division)
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services

Monday, November 18 – 4:30pm
SPC on IED – Budget Presentations
Innovation Department 
Planning, Property and Development Department (Economic Development Division)
Animal Services Special Operating Agency
Fleet Special Operating Agency
Golf Services Special Operating Agency
Winnipeg Parking Authority Special Operating Agency

Wednesday, November 20 – 9:30am
Executive Policy Committee – Budget Presentations
Chief Administrative Officers’ Office
City Clerks
Audit Department
Legal Services Department
Human Resource Services Department
Customer Service and Communications Department
Corporate Finance Department
Assessment and Taxation Department

Friday, November 22 – 8:30am
SPC on IRPW – Budget Delegations
Transit Department
Public Works Department (excludes Parks and Open Spaces Division)

Friday, November 22 – 1:30pm
Winnipeg Police Board – Budget Delegations

Monday, November 25 – 4:30pm
SPC on WWRME – Budget Delegations
Water and Waste Department
Planning, Property and Development Department (Riverbank Management Division)


Tuesday, November 26 – 4:30pm
SPC on IED – Budget Delegations
Innovation Department 
Planning, Property and Development Department (Economic Development Division)
Animal Services Special Operating Agency
Fleet Special Operating Agency
Golf Services Special Operating Agency
Winnipeg Parking Authority Special Operating Agency

Wednesday, November 27 – 8:30am
SPC on PCSP – Budget Delegations
Community Services Department
Public Works Department (Parks and Open Spaces Division)
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services

Wednesday, November 27 – 4:30pm
SPC on PPDHDD – Budget Delegations
Planning, Property and Development Department

Wednesday, November 28 – 4:30pm
Executive Policy Committee – Budget Delegations
Chief Administrative Officers’ Office
City Clerks
Audit Department
Legal Services Department
Human Resource Services Department
Customer Service and Communications Department
Corporate Finance Department
Assessment and Taxation Department

Friday, November 29 – 9:30am
SPC on IRPW – Budget Recommendations
Transit Department
Public Works Department (excludes Parks and Open Spaces Division)

Friday, November 29 – 1:30pm
SPC on WWRME – Budget Recommendations
Water and Waste Department
Planning, Property and Development Department (Riverbank Management Division)

Monday, December 2 – 4:30pm
Winnipeg Police Board – Budget Recommendations

Wednesday, December 4 – 4:30pm
SPC on PCSP – Budget Recommendations 
Community Services Department
Public Works Department (Parks and Open Spaces Division)
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services

Thursday, December 5 – 4:30pm
SPC on PPDHDD – Budget Recommendations
Planning, Property and Development Department

Friday, December 6 – 1:30pm
SPC on IED – Budget Recommendations
Innovation Department 
Planning, Property and Development Department (Economic Development Division)
Animal Services Special Operating Agency
Fleet Special Operating Agency
Golf Services Special Operating Agency
Winnipeg Parking Authority Special Operating Agency

Monday, December 9 – 9:30am
Executive Policy Committee – Budget Recommendations
Chief Administrative Officers’ Office
City Clerks
Audit Department
Legal Services Department
Human Resource Services Department
Customer Service and Communications Department
Corporate Finance Department
Assessment and Taxation Department

NOTE: Dates may be rescheduled in the event of changes to committee membership following the Organizational Meeting of Council. 

Please refer to the following link for Cash to Capital targets: https://winnipeg.ca/interhom/Budget/2020Budget/pdfs/Cash-to-Capital-by-Department.pdf  

Multi-year Budget website: www.winnipeg.ca/budget2020  

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