Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What did the City of Langley do with your money in 2015?

At last night’s City of Langley Council meeting, the 2015 Annual Report for the city was presented to council and subsequently adopted. The annual report provides an outline of the corporate structure of the municipality, an overview of the city’s department, and descriptions of the major activities completed during the year. The annual report also includes the city’s consolidated financial statements for the year.

The City of Langley had $45.0 million in revenue for 2015. That is a $2.8 million increase over the previous year. While there was a modest increase in property tax, the largest increase in revenue was $900,000 from the casino, and the use of an additional $1.1 million in money received from developers (DCCs). The full breakdown of revenue can be found on page 30 of the annual report.

The city invested $38.9 million into ongoing operations. That includes things like making sure our police and fire-rescue crews are being paid, parks are maintained, garbage collected, and the like.

The City also invested $17 million in infrastructure, buildings, and equipment. This includes things like renewing roads, upgrading water & sewer lines, and building the new Timms Community Centre. I know that the numbers don’t add up, but that’s due to how local government accounting works in BC.

An interested fact, in 2014 Langley City property owners contributed $2.8 million in property tax to TransLink. In 2015, that number went down to $2.7 million. This is because the overall assessed value of property in Langley City went down.

The annual report also contains a breakdown of where your local taxes went during 2015 in Langley City.

Where did your 2015 taxes go in the City of Langley? Select chart to enlarge.

You’ll notice that there is a category called “General Government” where 9% of tax revenue goes towards. As this is a bit of a vague description, I’d thought I’d explain in more detail.

About 80% of “General Government” expenses go towards information technology, financial services, and legislative & administrative support services. About 8% is for community grants and the Council “Enterprise Fund”. Another 8% goes to City Council.

The follow chart shows a breakdown of council compensation during 2015. Current council policy sets the mayor’s remuneration at 85% of the regional average for mayors. Other council members receive 40% of the mayor’s remuneration.

2015 council remuneration and expenses. Select table to enlarge.

You’ll notice that there is also expenses. This is for travel, food, and non-alcoholic beverage expenses as part of attending conferences hosted by UBCM and LMLGA. Other expenses can only be authorized by council at public council meetings. In 2015, Langley City Council costs represented 0.7% of all revenue collected during the year.

No comments: