Looks like the city is going to scrape through financially this year - next year is where it could really begin to hurt

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city will be short about $2.9 million with its 2019-20 budget but there is enough money in various reserve funds to get us through.

The concern is with the 2020-21 budget – assuming we are still dealing with COVID-19 – which the Mayor is certain we will be dealing with into 2022.

Director of Finance Joan Ford does a great job of providing the data ad her department does a good job of collecting the taxes as well. It's the spending side that is causing the long term financial stress. Ms Ford doesn't do the spending.

Director of Finance Joan Ford

City Treasurer Joan Ford laid out the numbers.

Joan chart 6

This is the money the city didn’t get.

Joan mitigation 7

Where the city was able to save; normal expenses that were lower and funding available from other levels of government.

There was a fair amount of good news. Tax collections for the period ending in April were at 97%.

There is adequate tax revenue to meet the day-to-day costs.

On the down side, the revenue loss was $18.5 million

Money that didn’t have to be spent was $9.5 million leaving a balance of $9 million as the shortfall.

There was some federal money – from the Safe Start Funds – $6.1 million which got the shortfall to that $2.9 million level.

Treasurer Ford and City Manager Tim Commisso both made mention of additional funding from the federal government.

Some interesting questions were asked. Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna wondered aloud what would happen to the malls when some (perhaps many) of the tenants turned in their keys.

Treasurer Ford explained that it is the mall corporation that is taxed – they collect from their tenants – but it is the mall that is responsible for paying the taxes.

Joan 1

Tax collections are holding.

The biggest hits to the city on the revenue side were Parks and Recreation fees that couldn’t be collected – programs had to be cancelled.  Transit had a  serious shortfall – ridership fell badly.

The city collects all the taxes – including the Regional tax levy and the Board of Education levy.

The city was able to hang on to those funds for a period of time.  The money collected for the Boards of Education has to be paid in December.  No word yet on just how much has to be paid.

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