City Budget

The City of Victoria is growing and changing.

With these changes come added pressures on City services and infrastructure. The City's budget looks to adapt to change and balance competing priorities while continuing to provide high-quality services our citizens have come to expect.

2019 Draft Financial Plan

Council has given preliminary approval to the 2019 draft Financial Plan after considering all input from the public.

Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey and joined us at the Budget Town Hall on January 16, 2019, both in person and online. Your comments will form part of the feedback that Council will consider before finalizing the budget. Council deliberated the budget at a series of meeting on February 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 14. View the agenda packages and webcasts (live and archived) for those budget meetings here.

Resources

Additional Resources

Budget Overview and Impacts
As presented in the draft financial plan, the 2019 operating budget totals $244.7 million and the capital budget totals $118 million.
 
The City of Victoria faces challenges due to changing responsibilities and new or expanded service requirements. For 2019, one major impact is the introduction of a Provincial health tax, which replaces Medical Services Plan premiums. The impact to the City is in the range of $2 million annually.
 
The proposed property tax increase is 2.85% for the City portion and 1.45% for the Provincial Health Tax, for a proposed overall tax increase of 4.3%. Combined with utility fees, the overall costs to homeowners and businesses would result in a 3.76% increase from 2018.
Budget Highlights
The City’s budget aims to balance the demand to continue providing the City’s approximately 200 services and over 200 capital infrastructure projects with the demand for increased or new services. Below are some of the key highlights of program and service investments proposed in the draft 2019 budget.
  • Replace aging pipes and underground infrastructure, including some of the City’s oldest pipes installed in 1891,to ensure clean water and environmental protection for the harbour and City natural areas
  • Approximately $51 million for reserves and capital investment including transfers to the affordable housing reserve, building and infrastructure reserve, gas tax reserve and debt reduction
  • $5.5 million in continued funding for the Greater Victoria Public Library, including the Central and sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay branches
  • Funding for a Neighbourhoods Team to work with neighbourhood groups and residents to create vibrant communities
  • Support for arts, culture and events with approximately $1.5 million including public art, festivals, special events, City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, Artist in Residence and Poet Laureate programs
  • Invest approximately $34 million in the City’s parks, recreation and facilities, including 137 parks, 207 hectares of parkland, 90 hectares of natural landscape, 40 playgrounds, 23 tennis courts, 12 dog off leash areas, 45 sports fields and 104 City facilities.
  • Increased capital investment of $975,000 to improve City streets
  • Continued focus on public safety, with $57 million for police
  • $17.6 million for fire services, and $1.9 million in bylaw services
  • Crosswalk installations or upgrades at seven locations
  • Planning for the replacement of the Ross Bay Seawall
  • Wharf and Humboldt Streets, and Vancouver Street pedestrian and cycling improvements
  • Continued process to replace Fire Headquarters
  • Technology improvements including digital plans, online forms, online business licenses
  • Climate action initiatives to reduce emissions by 80% and transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050
  • $580,000 in emergency management programs
  • Safety and lighting upgrades at City parkades

Try our Budget Simulator, which allows you to experience the types of decisions City Council and staff make when developing and allocating funds.