Backgrounder: City Budget Facts

The Vancouver City Budget Snapshot

  • 2009 Budget: $923 million
  • The city is required by law to balance its budget.
  • The city has two different budgets:

City Operating Budget
Annual budget funding of the day-to-day operations of city services, programs, facilities and administration. This budget is the subject of the 2009 consultation process.

Capital Budget
Three-year plan for major construction and reconstruction of streets, facilities, bridges, sewage, and other long term project. The city is currently in the first year of the 2009-2012 capital budget.

Budget Pressures: Service Cuts or Increased Taxes

The city's annual budget processes is now underway. On Sept. 29, senior city staff reported a revenue shortfall of $61.7 million. By increasing user fees, permits and licenses by four per cent, along with additional efficiencies and the extension of the hiring freeze for a second year, the city reduced the 2010 budget shortfall to $28.1 million by Oct. 20. All of these changes will impact taxpayers and service users.


Now the city is consulting on closing the $28.1 million gap through a combination of higher property taxes, user charges and services cuts. The city is also planning to go ahead with a tax transfer that will see residents pay two per cent more and businesses two per cent less in property taxes. If both residents and businesses paid a four per cent increase in property tax the budget gap would only be $6.1 million.

Cuts to services could include a decrease in library hours and services, reduced public safety including firefighters and police, reduced road maintenance, as well as less money towards community services and those most in need in the city.