2011-2012 Budget

The City of Vancouver's adopted 2011-2012 Biennial Budget reflects the current difficult economic environment.

The budget is balanced but austere, using a combination of significant program reductions and limited revenue increases to address an approximately $9.1 million annual deficit in the General, Street and Fire Funds. The reductions reflect the prioritization of the city’s six Strategic Commitments from an extensive community engagement designed to inform the budget process, and are consistent with Council-adopted financial policies. All reductions are expected to be challenging and result in significant service level reductions citywide.

The city’s 2011-2012 Operating and Capital Biennial Budget totals $817.5 million, with a total of $675.4 million in all Operating Budget Funds. The Operating Budget includes:

  •  Acceptance of a COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund 10 uniformed police positions for a period of three years, committing the city to fund these positions for one additional year following the grant period.
  •  Acceptance of Fire District 5 funding of five fire suppression positions for at least one year to replace volunteers at Station 87 with career officers.
  •  Reductions in all Strategic Commitments, with a total of 112.35 FTEs are eliminated across all city funds.
  •  Investments in maintenance of the city's existing infrastructure
  •  Investments in technology to increase efficiencies and help with constraints presented by lower staffing levels
  •  Significant consolidation of city departments and flattening of the organization, including the consolidation of departments and many programs and services.

The Council approved first reading of the 2011-2012 Budget, as well as supporting property tax and sewer rate increase ordinances on Oct. 25, 2010. A public hearing and final adoption of the budget and supporting ordinances took place on Nov. 1, 2010.

The supporting property tax ordinance adopts the allowable increase of 1 percent in the city’s property tax levy to continue to pay the cost of essential city services. The resulting estimated increase in the property tax bill for a typical residential property, assessed at $200,000 valuation, is expected to be an increase of $5.70 per year.

The increase in sewer rates, needed to cover sewer debt service payments and maintenance and capital costs of infrastructure and facilities, will be 9 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2011, and 6.5 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2012. the impact on the average residential customer is expected to be $2.56 per month in 2011 and $2.10 per month in 2012.

The adopted 2011-2012 Biennial Budget does not contain any material changes from the City Manager's Recommended 2011-2012 Budget, presented to the City Council on Step. 27 and Oct. 18, 2010.

The City of Vancouver must, by law, balance its budget. Meanwhile, the city faces an ongoing structural deficit, due to the city’s revenues growing at a slower pace than its expenditures. The City’s Manager’s Recommended 2011-12 Budget incorporates approximately $9.1 million in annual budget reductions in the General, Street and Fire Funds, in keeping with the recommendations of the city’s top management leadership team for addressing the annual deficit in 2011 and 2012. The reductions reflect the prioritization of the city’s six Strategic Commitments from an extensive community engagement designed to inform the budget process, and is consistent with Council-adopted financial policies. Citywide, all recommended reductions are expected to be challenging and result in significant service level reductions across all areas.