Delta is making more money than expected, according to the annual financial report for 2017.
The city revealed its audited 2017 budget, as well as the remuneration for council members during Monday’s (June 25) council meeting.
“I think we have to be transparent,” Mayor Lois Jackson said at council.
This year, Jackson received a basic remuneration of $119,871.23, compared to the councillors’ $52,809.03.
The mayor also had the highest overall expenses, at $10,543.55 for council-related activities and $529.55 for police board. This is less than her $15,690 in combined expenses for 2016, which was significantly higher than 2017 because she attended the Cities and Ports “Crossover” Conference in the Netherlands.
Counc. Heather King had the second highest expenses in 2017, at $9,059.25.
According to Counc. Sylvia Bishop, a large percentage of councillors’ expenses were for conferences like UBCM in Victoria and FCM in Ottawa.
“I think often those are the most expensive of the expenses,” Bishop said at council. Some councillors attend certain conferences while others don’t, which results in some variance in their expenses.
Mayor and council’s remuneration and expenses make up about two per cent of general government expenses, a category which includes the city manager wages, the entire HR department, the corporate services department, legal expenses, 911 services, grants and insurance.
In 2017, the city spent $216 million, and brought in $268 million in revenue. This resulted in a surplus of $52 million, nearly double what was budgeted.
The top expenses for the city were for police services and Delta’s parks, recreation and culture department, coming in at $39.6 million and $33.3 million, respectively.
Just over half of Delta’s revenue, $143 million, came from taxes and grants. The next highest revenue source was the sale of services, which includes utilities and recreation memberships, facility rentals and the like.
Of the $72.3 million earned from those services, $26.9 million was from water usage fees, $17.4 million was from sewer, $5.9 million was from garbage and recycling, $7.2 million was from “recoverables” and $8.6 million is from recreation admissions, programs and rentals. The remaining $6.2 million comes from land use agreements, Tsawwassen First Nation servicing agreements, TransLink-funded roads and other items.
Revenue from licences, permits, fees and penalties only made up four per cent of the revenue for 2017, however that was a nearly 18 per cent increase from 2016.
In 2017, the revenue derived was $11.3 million, compared to $9.6 million the year before. This was because income from building permits and inspection fees nearly doubled, going from $2.6 million in 2016 to $4.9 million in 2017. Other types of licences and permits remained relatively stable since last year, with a small increase in penalties on taxes and utilities, and a small decrease in development application fees.
Delta, long declared debt-free by Jackson, currently has a debt of $2.6 million. The “debt-free” status refers to the city not adding to its debt since 2003; Delta is expected to pay off its debt by 2022.