Annual Budget - Holistic Planning

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Holistic Financial Planning

Annual financial planning is more than looking at revenues and deciding whether you can afford to add or subtract new programs. The annual budget process is really an ongoing cycle of establishing corporate and financial objectives, measuring performance indicators, drafting departmental business plans, preparing 5-year forecasts, providing several opportunities for community input and the Council/Board’s review and final adoption the financial plan. The fiscal year for local governments in BC is the calendar year.

Section 165 of the Community Charter requires an annual financial plan with a minimum 5-year financial budget forecast, which provides the opportunity for local governments to incorporate strategic planning, performance management and corporate reporting into financial management. Regional Districts also need a financial plan – the parallel provision is the Local Government Act, section 815.

Both the annual report and financial plan require consideration by Council in an advertised public meeting open to submissions and questions from the public.

Financial reporting requirements are contained in Section 98 wherein municipalities must prepare an annual report prior to June 30th of each year, including:

  • the audited annual financial statements for the previous year;
  • a report respecting municipal services and operations for the previous year;
  • a progress report respecting the previous year in relation to the objectives and measures established for that year
  • a statement of municipal objectives, and the measures that will be used to determine progress respecting those objectives, for the current and next year

Community Examples

  • Dawson Creek: established an internal Carbon Fund designed to set aside funds annually to finance greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction projects.
  • Saanich Carbon: established an innovative Carbon Fund which directs offsetting funds to corporate greenhouse gas reduction projects.
 [Use the tab above to learn HOW to reduce emissions with this tool.]