Metro Vancouver (GVRD) has launched public consultations on its 2013 budget of $635.6 million, a 2.5% increase over last year. At a proposed cost per household of $448 (based on average household value of $714,000), the average increase for households is 0.9%.Below is the link to and excerpts from the official website. Note dates of public meetings, and opportunities to give feedback online too.
MetroVanWatch notes that with an operating budget and capital budget of about a billion dollars a year, mostly paid from property taxes, Metro Vancouver requires a healthy level of public scrutiny. Is the regional government giving us fair value for what we pay? Does the public have enough oversight of the details? The public should not just simply accept the budget reports, but dig deeper and look at the governance, functions, and efficiencies of this body. Is it on track, or does it need changes in direction? See for example some fundamental questions asked by Vancouver Sun‘s Daphne Bramham last year (Isn’t it time to elect full-time directors in Metro Vancouver? 18-May-2011). Get involved in the public consultation. The decision-making body, the Board of Directors of Metro Vancouver, is not directly accountable to the public. Citizens elect their municipal mayors and councillors, who then appoint their directors to the Board. So we urge you to address any budget concerns not only through the Metro Vancouver channels, but also directly to your Mayor and Council.
METRO VANCOUVER DRAFT 2013 BUDGET
Metro Vancouver’s annual budgets are driven primarily by the costs of delivering fundamentally important utility services, in partnership with member municipalities, to the region’s citizens and businesses.
Drinking water supply, sewerage and management of solid waste represent the majority of both operating and capital budgets, and are financed through utility fees. Property taxes account for a small portion of the regional budget, and support the Regional Parks system, as well as other services including Air Quality Management and Regional Planning activities.
Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation is financed almost entirely through rents paid by tenants.
Metro Vancouver will be presenting its draft 2013 budget as a special presentation at each of our upcoming Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues; please join us and provide your input. The dialogue dates and venues are as follows; please note that the budget presentation will start at approximately 11:35 am.
October 09, 2012
Segal Graduate School of Business
500 Granville Street, Vancouver
October 16, 2012
170 West 3rd, North Vancouver
October 18, 2012
Inn at the Quay
900 Quayside Drive, New Westminster
October 30, 2012
Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Club
7778 152nd Street, Surrey
Metro Vancouver is also presenting its 2013 draft budget at a series of special meetings, including:
October 05, 2012
Presentation to the Government Affairs Committee,
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce
October 9, 2012
Presentation to the Executive Committee, North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
October 13, 2012
Metro Vancouver Council of Councils meeting, Burnaby
October 30, 2012
Presentation to Langley Chamber of Commerce Dinner Meeting