Each year, Council and City staff work together to develop an annual budget. Municipalities in Saskatchewan are required by legislation to have a balanced budget. This means that no debt can be incurred to fund basic operating expenses. Debt can only be used to fund capital projects such as buildings, roads, water, sewer or other major projects.
The budget outlines how the money that comes into the City should be spent to maintain and improve the City. As the City is limited by the amount of resources available, the budget helps in determining those initiatives which will produce the greatest positive impact in the community.
On April 11, 2017, Council approved a budget which reflected the impact of the provincial budget announced on March 22, 2017. Faced with an estimated $297,000 shortfall - representing a tax increase of 5.4% - after the province unexpectedly cut the long-standing grants-in-lieu program, Council and Administration were forced to make some difficult decisions to make up this budget gap.
2017 Budget Overview
|2017 Total Municipal Budget||$16.75 million|
|2017 Operating Budget||$12 million|
|2017 Capital Budget||$4.75 million|
Did you know ... every $55,000 in funds translates to one tax percentage point?
$55,000 = 1% tax increase/decrease
2017's municipal budget takes a blended approach of capital project deferrals and/or phasing, service reductions where programs may be provided elsewhere and a moderate tax increase to deal with this permanent loss of revenue.
Investment into vital infrastructure, core services and public safety was maintained, as per Our Humboldt's community priorities.
The province has indicated that ongoing review of provincial grants and funding to municipalities will occur, meaning unpredictable and unsustainable funding for the municipal sector. To continue to meet such budget challenges into 2018 and beyond, the City will apply its priority-based budget process to review programs, services and priorities with staff, stakeholders, Council members and the community.
To learn more about how the province's budget is impacting communities, visit the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association's website.
2017-2020 Budget Priorities Meeting
The City of Humboldt hosted an Open House for citizens on February 28, 2017 to review Council's proposed budget priorities. City Councillors and Administration were in attendance to discuss the priorities. The 2017 budget is to be finalized in April.
2017 Budget Development
The City of Humboldt is committed to delivering affordable, reliable municipal services that support our community. Using a priority-based approach, resources are assigned to programs and services that have the most community impact.
What did we hear through the 2017 budget consultations?
Thank you for your participation. Click here to download the infographic.
This information will be considered by Council to help prioritize resources, service levels and actions.
Where does the City get its funds?
The following breakdown shows how the City of Humboldt receives approximately $17.5 million in annual revenue (2016):
- Property Taxes - $6.8 million | 39%
- Grants - $5.6 million | 32%
- Fees & Charges - $4.7 million | 27%
- Other Revenues - $411,000 | 2%
Where does the City spend its funds?
The City of Humboldt spends 92% ($16.1 million) on programs and services for the community and only 8% ($1.4 million) on governance and administrative functions (2016).
Council approved the 2016 Budget at their May 9, 2016 meeting.
Priority Based Budgeting Process
In 2015, the City partnered with the Centre for Priority Based Budgeting to change the budgeting process towards a priority-based approach. This approach will better allow the City to support its long-term strategic goals, based on the community values and expectations outlined in Our Humboldt.
Residents had the opportunity - at a series of open public sessions - to help Council set budget priorities through a "hands-on" money allocation exercise ... how would you spend City dollars amoung the seven strategic areas of Our Humboldt?
The results were as follows:
After this public feedback, Council and staff worked internally to:
- Align budget results areas to those most important to the community.
- Identify all the programs and services that the City current offers. Did you know ... the City offers over 200 programs and services to our residents!
- Evaluate all programs and services on their influence in achieving the results that were identified as most important.
- Allocate costs amoungst the City's programs and services.
We're leading the way ... Humboldt is the first community in Saskatchewan - and one of only a handful of Canadian communities - committed to implementing priority-based budgeting as a best practice.
Priority Based Budgeting Philosophy
The underlying philosophy of priority-based budgeting is about how government should invest its resources to meet its stated goals and objectives by:
- Prioritizing services.
- Doing the important things well.
- Questioning past patterns of spending.
- Spending within the organization's means.
- Knowing the true costs of doing business.
- Providing transparency of community priorities.
- Providing transparency of service impacts.
- Demanding accountability for results.