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General Government - Quarter 4 Financial Update (2016)

The General Government department consists of:

  • Net Levy Taxation Revenue: The Region has the responsibility to fund costs associated with Property Assessment Services which are provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)
  • Investment Income: The Region owns and earns income on investments held with different institutions (see investment report for further details)
  • Economic Incentives and other support: The Region contributes funding to the Niagara Health System's New Cancer Centre as well as grants related to development charges, the Youth Retention Program, and the Smarter Niagara Incentive Project
  • Capital Financing: The Region funds its capital programs through multiple financing sources such as capital levy reserve contributions and debt charges.
  Year to Date (in thousands of dollars)
Budget Actual Budget vs Actual Variance
Favourable/(Unfavourable)
Expenses
Administrative   5,953 7,556 (1,603) (21.2%)
Occupancy & Infrastructure   55 49 5 10.8%
Partnership, Rebate, Exemption   7,319 5000 2,318 46.4%
Financial Expenditures   43,675 45,462 (1,787) 3.9%
Total Expenses   57,001 56,068 (1,067) (1.8%)
Revenues
Taxation   (338,300) (339,414) 1,114 (0.3%)
By-Law Charges & Sales   (80) (33) (47) 139.1%
Other Revenue   (11,905) (14,550) 2,645 (18.2%)
Total Revenues   (350,285) (353,997) 3,712 (1.0%)
Intercompany Charges
Intercompany Charges   (68) (88) 20 (22.5%)
Total Intercompany Charges   (68) (88) 20 (22.5%)
Net Expenditure (Revenue) Before Transfers & Indirect Allocations   (293,351) (296,017) 2,666 (0.9%)
Transfers
Transfers From Funds   (9,472) (9,495) 23 (0.2%)
Transfers To Funds   27,862 30,390 (2,529) (8.3%)
Total Transfers   18,390 20,895 (2,505) (12.0%)
Indirect Allocations & Debt
Capital Financing Allocation   (59,675) (59,707) 32 (0.1%)
Total Indirect Allocations & Debt   (59,675) (59,707) 32 (0.1%)
Net Expenditure (Revenue) After Transfers & Indirect Allocations   $(334,636) $(334,828) $192 (0.1%)

Variance Analysis (in thousands of dollars)

General Government operated at a surplus after indirect allocations of $192. The following factors contributed to this surplus:

Administrative

The unfavourable variance of $1,603 primarily relates to the unbudgeted change in the estimate of legal claims pending at the end of 2016.

Partnership, Rebate, Exemption

The favourable variance of $2,318 is primarily due to the timing of grant payments related to the General Electric (GE) road and intersection improvements ($1,500) and the Public Realm Investment Program (PRIP) ($250), as well as Tax Increment grants being lower than budget ($569). The GE development and PRIP grants have been included in the 2016 encumbrances reported in Transfers to Funds.

Financial Expenditures

The unfavourable variance of $1,787 is primarily due to tax write-offs being higher than budgeted.

Taxation

The favourable variance of $1,114 is primarily due to supplemental taxes being higher than budgeted.

Other Revenue

The favourable variance of $2,645 is primarily due to an unanticipated sale of surplus property ($945) and investment income being higher than budget ($1,598). The investment income variance has been taken into consideration when developing the 2017 budget as past trends have indicated sustainable investment earnings

Transfer to Funds

The unfavourable variance of $2,529 relates to the 2016 encumbrances ($1,750), the proceeds from the sale of surplus properties which were transferred to the Capital Levy reserve ($1,019); offset by reduced transfers to reserve from unfunded debt ($241).

Community Impacts & Achievements

On July 6, 2016 Niagara Region's annual capital market debenture issue settled for a total of $52,852 ($27,876 for Niagara Region and $24,976 split among six local area municipalities. All debentures were purchased despite close to historical low yields. The 10-year all-in cost of the debenture financing was 2.07 per cent, which was the lowest ever achieved.

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