2021-2022 Budget Consultation
The Neighbours Levy forms the primary source of funding for the UNA. The Services Levy is calculated based on the differential of the City of Vancouver Tax rate and the Provincial Rural tax rate. UNA Neighbourhood Residents pay the same amount as City of Vancouver Residents. When Residents pay the service levy, it is deposited into the Neighbours Fund, and funds are then transferred to the UNA to support the delivery of municipal – like services in the neighbourhoods.
For our 2021‐22 budget, the UNA continues to face financial challenges associated with a growing population and decreased revenues, including a projected large reduction in budgeted Recreation & Culture revenue that is the direct result of the ongoing pandemic.
The UNA and UBC are committed to finding both a short and long‐term solution to the UNA fiscal challenges. The Joint Financial Task Force (composed of UNA and UBC representatives) was restarted in late 2020, and the recommendations from the JFTF are represented in the 2021‐22 budget. The budget as proposed includes $841,000 in continued support from UBC for 2021‐22 as follows*:
The budget also includes a 2020‐21 Projected Surplus Carry forward of $400,000 and a transfer of $102,323 from the Rate Stabilization Reserve to balance the estimated structural deficit.
The JFTF continues to work on longer term solutions to the fiscal health of the UNA.
The UNA has made a commitment to increase the quality of communication between the UNA and Residents. This public consultation is one piece of the UNA’s planned communications strategy and will also include future communications from UNA and UBC better clarifying their roles in the neighbourhoods and the services provided by each.
Draft 2021‐22 Budget
As part of the budgeting process, the UNA assessed the funding needed to support ongoing and essential UNA services versus funding used for non‐essential projects and programs. Within the 2021‐22 operating budget, 95% of expenses are related to operational, non‐discretionary expenses required to provide services for Residents. This includes operating and maintaining the Community Centres, providing recreation programs, emergency preparation, and maintaining the neighbourhoods. The remaining 5% of the operating budget relates to additional resources provided by the UNA to the community, including funding for community committees.
Highlights of the 2021‐22 Budget are as follows:
The UNA is currently experiencing a structural deficit, as the organization’s revenues (Neighbours’ Levy,
Rec Centres, Other) are lower than the cost to operate and run the UNA, including maintenance of the neighbourhoods, operation of the community centres, and other civic administrative operations. The structural deficit for 2021‐22 is projected to be $1.3M, of which $841,000 is covered by the continued support from UBC and $400,000 will be covered by our 2020‐21 surplus carry forward. Another $102,323 will be covered from our rate stabilization reserve to balance the estimated structural deficit.
The Levy is projected to increase 7%, from $5.9M budgeted in 2020‐21 to $6.4M in 2021‐22. As the population grows and tax rates stabilize, the Levy experiences growth and the structural deficit shrinks.
Prior to 2018, there were several years of declines in the Levy due to dramatic increases in the City of Vancouver’s single family assessed home values and a lower mill rate. This resulted in restricted funding available to sustain service levels.
As the Neighbours Levy increases the contributions to reserves and other associated deductions also goes up exponentially – which partially offsets any funds available for unrestricted operating expenditures.
The Athletics Access Fee provides UNA Residents access to UBC Athletics services. Athletics Fees are currently set at 7.5% of the Neighbours Levy. As the levy has increased, the Athletics fee has increased as well.
Total revenue is expected to decrease by 5% compared to the previous year’s budget, excluding specific funding for the structural deficit. Neighbours Levy and reserve revenue are projected to increase, due to an increase in the Neighbours Levy from 2020‐21 to 2021‐22. However, due to the pandemic, the growth in Recreation & Culture revenue projected from 2020‐21 did not take place and the UNA is expecting it will take time for Recreation & Culture revenue to return to historic levels.
Estimated Reserve Balances
Current reserve balances are based on the balances in the Neighbours Fund 2019‐20 Audited Financial Statements.
Online Budget Feedback
Please note the 2021‐22 budget must be approved by the Board prior to March 30, 2021. The UNA asked Residents to provide comments on the budget between January 22, 2021 and February 1, 2021. Public consultation has been concluded.
*Continued support currently being finalized by UBC