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Draft 2015 budget released today

February 13 2015

Burrard Bridge and downtown Vancouver

Today we released our proposed 2015 Operating Budget of $1,223 million and Capital Budget of $306 million. It outlines:

  • How tax dollars are invested across departments
  • The services you receive
  • A summary of all relevant funds and items (The first time a consolidated comprehensive budget has been presented.)

Council will vote on the draft 2015 Budget on March 3 at a regular Council meeting.

Read the draft 2015 Budget

Budget highlights

Highlights in this year's draft budget include:

  • $61.3 million in affordable housing, including the creation of 358 units of co-op rental and social housing in partnership with the Community Housing Land Trust Foundation
  • $38.4 million for transportation, including safety upgrades to high-traffic sidewalks, accessibility improvements to transit stops, and more than 20 kilometres of upgrades to major and local roads
  • $31.7 million for park, open spaces, and recreation for projects such as a new Southeast Vancouver Seniors’ Centre and a new synthetic turf field at Eric Hamber Secondary School
  • $28.5 million for community facilities, including a new library ‘nə́c̓aʔmat ct’ in the Strathcona neighbourhood
  • The development of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA), which is starting work to enable 500 affordable housing units — filling a commitment to deliver 2,500 affordable housing units on City and partner lands by 2021

Property tax increase

Despite rising costs for existing services, the draft 2015 Budget includes a property tax increase of 2.4%, which is competitive with most other Canadian municipalities.

Wages and benefits are the primary drivers of cost increases, particularly for public safety services, which are the largest components of our operating budget. For 2015, the impact of those public safety wage and benefit increases above other employee bargaining units alone is approximately the equivalent of a 1% property tax increase. Absorbing this increase within a competitive tax environment has taken a focused effort by all areas.

How the budget will affect key Council and community priorities 

The draft 2015 Budget will enable us to continue to make significant progress in advancing the following City Council and community priorities:

  • Addressing housing and homelessness
  • Cultivating and sustaining vibrant, creative, and safe communities
  • Promoting economic development
  • Advancing our Greenest City 2020 Action Plan
  • Delivering value for money

Improvements to this year's budget

Significant improvements have been made to departmental budget detail in the 2015 Operating Budget, with an extra 102 line items being added, bringing the total number of unique line items of detail to 210 – representing a 94% increase from the 2014 budget.

This year’s budget also contains detailed information on departments and service outcomes, with over 250 metrics across more than 50 different City services.

The draft 2015 Budget also incorporates the final best practice items that were recommended by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2012 to identify leading practices in public sector budgeting to assist us in providing comprehensive and understandable budget information.

Enhanced public engagement

As part of the 2015-2018 capital planning process, two rounds of public engagement were conducted to get  input on long-term capital investment concerning priorities asset renewal and the new, upgrade and expansion of amenities. This is in addition to the annual engagement of a shorter-term satisfaction survey and feedback related to the annual budget.

Relevant budget information

While primarily focused on the Operating and Capital Budgets, the 2015 Budget will include a summary of all relevant funds and items, and will be the first time a consolidated comprehensive budget has been presented. As well, significant work is underway to further align the format of our budget and financial statements to increase the understanding of our financial position. 

Learn more about our budget and finances

Read the 2017 Budget

Read the 2016 Budget

2017 Budget  (7.9 MB)

Budget highlights
 (240 KB)