2023 Budget

2023 Budget update

On March 6, 2023, Council approved Operating and Capital Budgets for 2023, including a property tax increase of 2.14%, and an asset levy increase of 2%.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the proposed budget.

View Five-Year Financial Plan (2023–2027)

Budget background

Every year the municipality creates a budget that pays for the services provided by the District of West Vancouver, including:

  • Police
  • Fire and Rescue
  • Bylaw enforcement
  • Parks
  • Community centres
  • Library
  • Cultural programs
  • Capital expenses, such as maintaining public facilities and roads
  • and much more!

46% of your property tax bill funds the municipal budget. Property taxes also include amounts collected on behalf of other taxing authorities, like provincial schools and TransLink. Learn more about property tax allocations in the Budget Highlights (PDF).

Considerations for 2023

Inflation and managing rising costs

While the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the District’s community priorities and cost pressures will have greater influence on the budget preparation process. With the highest inflation rate seen in decades, climate change, and supply chain disruptions, the District will continue its financial prudence and focus on maintaining financial strength and stability while fulfilling its mandate to serve the needs of the community.

Each year, all non-taxation sources of funding are reviewed for further opportunities before resorting to taxation. As part of the annual budget process, staff conduct a thorough base budget review to ensure that all revenue and expenditure budgets reflect current realities.

The District revenue sources are generated mainly from property taxes followed by fees and charges. The limited funding sources are also reflected in the breakdown of the tax base, with 97% being residential class, and 3% being business class. The District does not have industrial properties like other municipalities do, and therefore does not have this major source of tax revenue.

Climate action

The 2023 Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan will continue addressing the emerging priorities such as developing a Climate Action Plan and Strategy. The District remains committed to investing in local climate action, continuously building the Environmental Levy to support climate-change preparedness, responding to disasters due to climate change, and implementing climate action initiatives to support critical climate change adaptation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

What does this mean to you?

Staff are proposing an Operational Levy increase of 4.57%, an Asset Levy increase of 1.00%, and an Environmental Levy increase of 0.50%. Read more about these levies in the Budget Highlights (PDF).

The total proposed tax levy increase of 6.07% is below the rate of inflation, as measured by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for British Columbia of 7.2%.

The total tax increases amount to an extra $350 for the average single-family detached home (SFD) assessed at $3.76 million and an extra $158 for the average strata property assessed at $1.70 million. The average assessed values are based on the completed roll from BC Assessment.

Learn more about the budget

Review the proposed budget and ask questions. All feedback received is submitted to Council as part of the 2023 Budget review.

Budget Highlights (PDF)

Preliminary Financial Plan 2023 (proposed budget) (PDF)

Questions and answers

The question form was open from January 18 to February 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a question. Responses to questions received are available below.

Budget information meetings

Thank you to everyone who attended a budget information meeting. There was a presentation followed by a question and answer period.

Watch a video of the presentation (YouTube)

Budget Information Meetings Presentation (PDF)

Q&A - January 24, 2–3 p.m. information meeting

Q&A - January 24, 6–7 p.m. information meeting

Q&A - January 26, 1–2 p.m. information meeting

2023 Budget update

On March 6, 2023, Council approved Operating and Capital Budgets for 2023, including a property tax increase of 2.14%, and an asset levy increase of 2%.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the proposed budget.

View Five-Year Financial Plan (2023–2027)

Budget background

Every year the municipality creates a budget that pays for the services provided by the District of West Vancouver, including:

  • Police
  • Fire and Rescue
  • Bylaw enforcement
  • Parks
  • Community centres
  • Library
  • Cultural programs
  • Capital expenses, such as maintaining public facilities and roads
  • and much more!

46% of your property tax bill funds the municipal budget. Property taxes also include amounts collected on behalf of other taxing authorities, like provincial schools and TransLink. Learn more about property tax allocations in the Budget Highlights (PDF).

Considerations for 2023

Inflation and managing rising costs

While the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the District’s community priorities and cost pressures will have greater influence on the budget preparation process. With the highest inflation rate seen in decades, climate change, and supply chain disruptions, the District will continue its financial prudence and focus on maintaining financial strength and stability while fulfilling its mandate to serve the needs of the community.

Each year, all non-taxation sources of funding are reviewed for further opportunities before resorting to taxation. As part of the annual budget process, staff conduct a thorough base budget review to ensure that all revenue and expenditure budgets reflect current realities.

The District revenue sources are generated mainly from property taxes followed by fees and charges. The limited funding sources are also reflected in the breakdown of the tax base, with 97% being residential class, and 3% being business class. The District does not have industrial properties like other municipalities do, and therefore does not have this major source of tax revenue.

Climate action

The 2023 Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan will continue addressing the emerging priorities such as developing a Climate Action Plan and Strategy. The District remains committed to investing in local climate action, continuously building the Environmental Levy to support climate-change preparedness, responding to disasters due to climate change, and implementing climate action initiatives to support critical climate change adaptation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

What does this mean to you?

Staff are proposing an Operational Levy increase of 4.57%, an Asset Levy increase of 1.00%, and an Environmental Levy increase of 0.50%. Read more about these levies in the Budget Highlights (PDF).

The total proposed tax levy increase of 6.07% is below the rate of inflation, as measured by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for British Columbia of 7.2%.

The total tax increases amount to an extra $350 for the average single-family detached home (SFD) assessed at $3.76 million and an extra $158 for the average strata property assessed at $1.70 million. The average assessed values are based on the completed roll from BC Assessment.

Learn more about the budget

Review the proposed budget and ask questions. All feedback received is submitted to Council as part of the 2023 Budget review.

Budget Highlights (PDF)

Preliminary Financial Plan 2023 (proposed budget) (PDF)

Questions and answers

The question form was open from January 18 to February 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a question. Responses to questions received are available below.

Budget information meetings

Thank you to everyone who attended a budget information meeting. There was a presentation followed by a question and answer period.

Watch a video of the presentation (YouTube)

Budget Information Meetings Presentation (PDF)

Q&A - January 24, 2–3 p.m. information meeting

Q&A - January 24, 6–7 p.m. information meeting

Q&A - January 26, 1–2 p.m. information meeting

The question form is now closed. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Responses to questions will be posted here. All public input will be considered by Council as part of the 2023 budget review.

Please note that questions must be entered in sentence form. This platform does not support images, tables, or multiple paragraphs. If you wish to include these, please email your question to budget@westvancouver.ca.

  • "A Lean business is a business that maximizes value while minimizing waste. A Lean business model focuses on improving processes across the value stream in order to eliminate waste and deliver optimized value to the customer." My questions are this: 1) Do you consider the District of WV a lean "business" and, if so, what is regularly being done to keep it lean? 2) Specifically what has been done to trim the fat, for example, in Corporate Services & Admin, WV Memorial Library, and Cultural Services?

    WV4Ever asked about 1 year ago

    The lean business model has been used successfully in plant and manufacturing sectors for many years and is increasingly applied in service sectors. Throughout the District of West Vancouver (“District”), staff utilize lean business model strategies looking for opportunities to reduce non-value-added work while increasing capacity and shifting focus to more important work. Each year the District engages in transformation projects, looking for efficiencies in services delivered to residents. Below are recent examples.

    • Information Technology projects regularly focus on standardization, contract renegotiation and service consolidation. Recent projects include:
    • Leveraging District-owned fibre optics installations to reduce or eliminate leased network lines from service providers.
    • The District’s new website consolidates westvancouver.ca and the previous District recreation websites. In addition to consolidation, the new site provides automated scraping of real-time program data from our recreation registration system, eliminating the need for manual program information updates.
    • Standardization and consolidation of commodity hardware such as copiers, printers, and IT infrastructure equipment to reduce overall operating and capital costs.
    • Implementation of Business Intelligence technology to provide self service access to critical organizational data to decision makers.
    • Regular audits and reviews of service provider contracts to renegotiate costs and eliminate waste wherever possible.
    • Implementing cloud technologies aligned with business requirements to reduce traditional technology operating costs, which enhances availability and business continuity.

      The West Vancouver Memorial Library (WVML) is BC’s busiest library per capita (in 2020 numbers, the latest comparative available). WVML management and the library board practice prudent fiscal stewardship and cost avoidance, including:
    • 2023: refurbishing rather than replacing an end-of-life automatic materials handler (a machine that processes and sorts book returns), resulting in savings of several hundred thousand dollars.
    • 2023: planned implementation of staff scheduling software, which will enable effective and efficient scheduling of staff.
    • 2021/2022: revenue and FTE-neutral reorganization that reduced staffing in specific areas, including reducing service desks from four to three to meet urgent needs in other areas such as public tech support staffing, addressing a funding shortfall for casual staff, and mitigating security issues.
    • 2021: implementing room rental booking software to facilitate online payment processing, providing a value-added service to library patrons.
    • 2021: adopting electronic-based incident reporting procedures, which has simplified and expedited reporting, and eliminated paper waste.
    • 2020: quickly responding to the COVID-19 required facility closure by:
      • Being one of the first libraries in BC, and possibly Canada, to transition all programs to virtual (within seven days of closure), providing community connection and learning opportunities during stay-at-home orders. WVML staff shared these innovations with libraries across Canada, many of whom mirrored our techniques.
      • Creating a remote call centre (within 14 days of closure) to assist the public with online services, tech support, and other urgent needs.
      • Brokering a partnership with Telus and North Shore libraries to quickly distribute 400 devices to people in need through a coordinated network of non-profits; converting our parking lot to a public, Wi-Fi-enabled, outdoor seating area using inexpensive furniture and repurposed Wi-Fi range extenders; a host of other responsive and cost-effective innovations. A common sentiment shared by WVML patrons is ‘the library saved my life during the pandemic.'
    • Lean business-style reviews that streamlined processes eliminated cataloguing backlog, and reduced time-to-shelf for new materials.
    • Slightly contracting the library workforce over ten years (compared to 2013 District data).
    • Active ongoing community fundraising through Foundation and Friends for enhancements to our core services
      • Providing an educational service for self-motivated learners to utilize throughout their lifelong learning journey at a fraction of the cost of formal education. Specific interventions, such as family literacy programming, proven through research to reduce reliance on social services.
      • Efficiently sharing and reusing materials, devices, and equipment on a community scale, significantly reducing waste over the long term.

    • The Financial Services Division staff consistently reviews business processes for efficiencies and better internal controls.
      • The manual accounts payable process shifted to an automated, more secure, streamlined system. This enabled better internal controls and increased visibility across the entire invoice-to-payment process flow allowing staff to analyze metrics to speed up approval times, process bottlenecks and review payment cycle times for better cash flow management.
      • The manual budget process is currently transitioning to a digital system to improve data flow/collaboration, increase capacity for modelling, and enhanced approval and security controls.

    • Planning & Development Services staff continuously review business processes to serve residents better.
      • The permit application process transitioned to an electronic submission during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow business continuity. Currently, staff are assessing and designing a new, improved electronic system to modernize and decrease processing time.

    • Community Services staff also continuously review processes to identify and implement efficiencies. 
      • Implementation of a new grant management system to create streamlined intake, tracking, communication, and analysis processes saves time and resources on tactical tasks. The system also adds value to applicants by making the process simpler and more accessible and creates a centralized retention of records for each application.

    Future and proposed technology and digital transformation projects are pivotal to achieving a lean business model. The District can provide greater value for residents through modernization and integration of business systems.

  • Mismatch of revenue versus expense: While much higher interest revenue may help to fund the 14 new PERMANENT employees, the most of the current windfall interest revenue is NOT permanent and will dissipate over the next 18 months. In 18 months how will you pay for these 14 permanent employees?

    Bob asked about 1 year ago

    Each year the District of West Vancouver strives to achieve a structurally balanced budget that supports financial sustainability. This means that recurring revenues are used to fund recurring expenditures in the budget. The interest revenue projected in the 2023 budget is carefully considered based on economic outlook and strategic cash flow management to ensure that amount can be maintained for multiple years into the future.

    All revenue adjustments in the budget are used to offset all operational cost pressures and are not directly linked to a specific expense. The difference between available revenue and expenses is then balanced by the additional property tax.

  • I am interested in your project tendering process which I hope you can forward to me. At what dollar amount are tenders or bids required? Is a summary of bids or tenders in FY2020 available? Are Tenders/Bids fixed price or cost plus contracts? Are there hard deadlines for project completion and what are the penalties?

    Bob asked about 1 year ago

    A public procurement process is typically conducted for any contract expected to exceed $75,000.  There are exceptions, but regardless of the procurement process, all contracts over $75,000 are published in our quarterly financial reports.  The quarterly reports for 2020 can be found on our website.  Contracts that are reported separately to Council or the Finance and Audit Committee are not included in this report. Also excluded are contracts related to West Vancouver Transit, West Vancouver Police Department and West Vancouver Memorial Library.

    Look for the page titled “CONTRACTS AWARDED OVER $75K.”

    Quarterly Reports | District of West Vancouver

    Our most common construction tenders are for lump sum, fixed price contracts.  We typically do not include penalty clauses in our contracts, because in order to do so, there must be measurable financial harm attached to the delay, and penalty clauses would need to have a corresponding bonus for early completion.

  • I notice a line item in the 2023 Capital Budget to repair the piers damaged in the storms of late 2021. My understanding was that repairs were delayed due to negotiations with the District's insurers. The Capital Budget does not show any recoveries from insurance to fund some or all of these repair expenditures. Will there be any insurance funding? What is the status of these negotiations?

    MIKE460 asked about 1 year ago

    The capital request of $215,000 from the Parks Department is not for the damage to waterfront piers from the King Tide on January 7, 2022. The insurance claim for the damages caused by the King Tide is an ongoing process. The District of West Vancouver (“District”) is expecting almost a full recovery for the piers, minus the cost of any upgrades that the District undertakes.

     

    The $215,000 capital request is for an on-going program for major repairs and replacements for District waterfront park pier structures and floats based on an engineering consultant’s report. Priority is given to major repairs and replacements that are required for safety reasons and regulatory requirements. The 2023 funding request will be used for the following projects: the initial consulting fees for Ambleside pier float and pile replacement project, and Dundarave pier repairs.

  • Why are departmental expenses up over 21% from 2021 Actuals? Given inflation levels this seems over the top. Remember many many tax payers in West Vancouver are on fixed incomes. The Municipality should be working hard to freeze taxes during this difficult and challenging times.

    Politics asked about 1 year ago

    A straight comparison from 2021 actual results to 2023 budget may be misleading. The disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic affected the District of West Vancouver (“District”) especially the impact of the Great Resignation in 2021 leading to higher than typical turnover, staff vacancies and challenges in recruitment from a tight labour market. This resulted in considerable labour cost savings therefore lower expenses than budgeted in 2021.

     

    Departmental expenses includes costs that are recoverable from external parties, one-time initiatives funded from non-taxation sources and expenditures incurred to directly generate revenue. Recoverable costs and one-time initiatives are variable each year depending on work plans and available funding so may cause swings in the expenses from year to year. Expenditures incurred to generate revenue have increased over the last several years as the District restarted many programs that were not allowed to run due to provincial health orders during the pandemic.

     

    Anticipated for 2023, the District will continue to face challenges that are not only specific to the community, but also from a greater economic environment. The following explains the most significant expense increases in the 2023 budget. Labour cost remains the largest cost pressure as the District is a service provider. The District anticipates an increase of $3.2M based on the current complement of staffing. An increase of $1.4M uncontrollable costs downloaded from external agencies in the Police area and contractual obligations for IT software and hardware maintenance. An increase of $0.8M to achieve expected service levels mostly in the parks area including trail repair, maintenance on new parkland, watering and drought mitigation. An increase of $0.3M in Community Services program expense which will be more than paid for by program revenues. Lastly, staff proposed a total of $1.2M new program requests to enhance the service levels and provide new services to the public. For more information please see pages 10 to 11 of the Budget Information Meetings Presentation (PDF): https://westvancouver.ca/media/1367.

  • After clicking on the links to previous WV budgets, I am curious about a couple of line items that appear in the Storm Utility section of these documents and would like to know if a similar funding request is anticipated for this year. The particular line item is the “ISMP Update”. In 2020, the funding request was for $200,000. In 2021, $540,000 was set aside for an “ISMP Update including Creek Diversion Review”. The 2022 request totalled $600,000. Could you tell me what, specifically, this funding was used for? Was it applied to the 5 Creeks Flood Protection Project? If so, to what level? Also, since the amount of this funding request has been steadily increasing over the past few years, do you anticipate that this trend will continue in this year’s budget? Thank you.

    DR asked about 1 year ago

    Budgeting related to “ISMP Update including Creek Diversion Review” is associated with the District of West Vancouver’s (“District”) obligations under Metro Vancouver’s Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan (ILRWMP) which was approved by the provincial government in 2011.  Metro Vancouver is currently reviewing and updating their ILRWMP. 

    The District has developed an Integrated Stormwater Management Plan (“ISMP”) for all eligible District watersheds in accordance with Metro Vancouver’s template for ISMPs. Under the current ILRWMP, ISMPs are to be updated every 12 years.  Two of the four ISMPs completed for watersheds within the District are now 12 years or older.  At the time of previous budgeting, planning was underway to update the oldest District’s ISMPs.  The District plans to begin reviewing our oldest ISMPs after Metro Vancouver has updated the ISMP template as part of the updated ILRWMP process.

    Any unused budgeted funds related to the line item “ISMP Update including Creek Diversion Review” will be returned to the stormwater capital reserve.  The District entered into an agreement with British Pacific Properties (“BPP”) to co-fund the Five Creeks Stormwater Flood Protection Project. The District will pay a fixed amount, up to a maximum of $6.25 million and BPP has assumed the remaining project costs, including overseeing the project and assuming any unforeseen costs. The District’s portion of costs will come from Development Cost Charges and from the stormwater capital reserve, which is funded by utility fees. 

  • Please explain the over $1M increase for Planning & Development Services. See page 9 Net 2022 $543,495 Net 2023 $1,623,975.

    WV4Ever asked about 1 year ago

    The Planning & Development Services division includes providing services where the costs are fully recoverable from external parties. Recoverable projects are variable each year depending on work plans. In the proposed 2023 budget cost-recovery work is mainly driven by Cypress Village. For a more detailed breakdown of the revenue and costs within Planning & Development Services, please see page 24 of the Preliminary Financial Plan 2023 document: https://westvancouver.ca/sites/default/files/dwv/westvancouverite/budget/2023%20budget/230117-proposed-budget-book-2023-final-draft.pdf.

    Excluding the Planning & Development Services Recoverable Projects area, the overall $1M increase in net expense (revenue less expense) is due to anticipated lower permit revenue of $0.52M in 2023 owing to the expected slow down in the housing market. The anticipated increase of $0.55M in expenses is mainly driven by labour costs. The labour costs include three FTE requests (Senior Community Planning, Planning Clerk and Arborist) and a provision for cost escalations for existing staff.

  • Which positions qualify to be paid the fuel stipend on top of their salaries? Was a fuel stipend still being paid to District employees when they worked full-time from home during the pandemic? Assuming they are being called back preferably to now work full-time at District offices or at least work some time at District hall, are these hybrid employees and/or any remaining full-time home workers still receiving the full fuel stipend?

    WV4Ever asked about 1 year ago

    Many District of West Vancouver employees are required to use their personal vehicle for District business and the District’s objective is to ensure that employees are not out of pocket by this necessity. Some positions require use of a personal vehicle on a periodic basis, and these receive a non-taxable per kilometre reimbursement at the rate established by the Canada Revenue Agency.  Other designated positions receive a monthly vehicle allowance which is a taxable benefit. These monthly vehicle allowances were paid throughout the pandemic, and continue at this time.  The positions currently receiving the vehicle allowance are the executive leadership team, the building and plumbing inspectors, and employees who work at multiples work sites, mainly managers in the Parks, Planning and Engineering departments. Employees who work a combination of in-office and remotely (“hybrid”) are required to attend work sites using their personal vehicles.

  • Are the FTE's for Indigenous Relations Manager and Aging in Place Program Co-ordinator (at annual cost of $110,000 and $90,000 respectively, again very high in comparison to private sector) permanent positions? If these are required, then should be on consulting basis or 1-year contract only or at the very least on a trial basis. Please provide us with full job description/details for these two positions.

    WV4Ever asked about 1 year ago

    The FTE requests included in the proposed 2023 budget are for permanent positions. The requested amount provides base salary, benefits, and other employer-paid costs to provincial and federal agencies for things such as Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, Workers Compensation Board, and Employer Health Tax. Metro Vancouver’s Regional Employer Services provide compensation, classification, and collective bargaining support for the District of West Vancouver (“District”). This ensures that the District and other municipalities are aligned with regional best practices and consistent compensation. West Vancouver salaries are at 60%, between the highest and lowest benchmarked salaries.

    The Aging in Place Program was piloted in 2021 with grant funding and continued into 2022 with one-time funding from the District of West Vancouver. The Aging in Place Coordinator position was resourced with temporary staff during this time. Demand for services provided by this program has increased over the years. The coordinator provides support in many ways, such as providing access and referrals to services and resources in the community, information on health and wellness, housing choices, and government options. In addition, the coordinator can assist in filling out government forms. This position has played a critical role in helping older adults in our community find and access the information and services they need to be able to remain independent and in creating an age-friendly community.

    The Indigenous Relations Manager is a new role that has yet to be approved; therefore, no job description was created for it. If approved, the position will support meaningful engagement with local First Nations to work towards implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations with local government and with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act calls to action.

  • Could we be provided with full transparency on ALL arrangements that the District of WV has with First Nations please and, where mentioned in the budget, First Nations should be reported as a separate line item rather than lumped into Lands and Legal for example. Is First Nations in any way a drain on WV tax dollars since it does not pay property taxes to WV for either its residential or business (e.g. South Park Royal) lands yet does rely on WV services and not just WV Police and Fire & Rescue? What are all the service agreements and does it take into account the value of the First Nations lands and property tax it would pay if they were subject to tax, so is treated equally as all WV taxpayers?

    WV4Ever asked about 1 year ago

    The District of West Vancouver provides various services to the Squamish Nation including: police; fire and rescue; garbage collection; business licensing; and permits and inspection services. 

    Each year the District receives payment from Squamish Nation for the provision of services, amounting to $2.6M in 2022. The revenue is shown on page 4 of the Preliminary Financial Plan 2023 document: https://westvancouver.ca/sites/default/files/dwv/westvancouverite/budget/2023%20budget/230117-proposed-budget-book-2023-final-draft.pdf.

    The south side of Park Royal is owned by the Squamish Nation and is taxed at a class 6 (business) rate. Some is taxed through our taxation process and some is taxed and collected through the service agreement. The District reconciles the expected collection with Squamish Nation and then invoices them for the property taxes.

Page last updated: 09 Jan 2024, 08:51 AM