The Budget Process
Every year the County determines the funds it requires for its operating budget and capital budget. Based on the current 3 year Strategic Plan, Administration compiles the initial budget based on Councils goal of no increase to the Municipal Mill Rate. That being said, all things being equal, the amount of tax dollars generated (tax levy) would be the same as the previous year. Budget deliberations in which every department, program and project is reviewed and scrutinized by Council and Administration. Budget deliberations take place in the 3rd week of November. An interim budget is presented to Council during the December Council meeting.
In Budget 2010, the Capital Budget was separated from the overall County Budget. This process gives Council and residents of Camrose County a more accurate picture of the Operating and Capital Budgets. The Capital Budget is based on a preliminary 5 year plan while the Operating Budget is based on a preliminary 3 year budget, as per the County’s 3 Year Strategic Plan. The initiatives included in the first year of the forecast are considered in order to determine the Capital and Operating Budgets for that year. Future preliminary forecasts for the following years may be adjusted for that specific year.
Following the Provincial Budget in February/March, which confirms the Provincial Grants and Programs the County will receive, the final County Budget is presented for Council approval in April.
What is a capital budget?
The Capital Budget represents how the County will pay for major projects such as reconstructing roads, equipment, building and improving public facilities, parks and new initiatives. The Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) is a Provincial Program, in which municipalities must approve a 10 year capital plan. This plan is incorporated into the 5 Year Capital Plan.
What is an operating budget?
The operating budget shows the day-to-day costs of delivering programs and services for the next year.
The County’s fiscal year-end is December 31. The Annual Report is produced in the following months and is scheduled to be released on May 1.
County residents are invited to attend Council's budget meetings to listen to the discussion.