By Cole Parkinson
While the 2021 budgets have been set, the Municipal District of Taber has also been able to review its 2020 financials.
Councillors were briefed on their audited financial statements ending on Dec. 31, 2020, and they learned the municipality was in a good position financially.
Looking at their financial assets, they totalled $32,717,001 in 2020, up from $25,767,635 in 2019.
“You’ll notice that cash is up quite a bit over the prior year, almost $5 million,” explained Michael Zubach, partner at MNP at the M.D.’s regular meeting on Apr. 27. “There’s a couple of pieces to the cash. So $14 million of the cash is set aside for your capital reserves and replacements, and all that stuff. It’s there but you can’t use it for general operations. Also, there is deferred revenue of about $7 million, so that is also money set aside for projects that are going to take place in the next fiscal year or other fiscal years coming up. Of that $7 million, about $3.7 relates to the Horsefly Spillway project. A bunch of money came in, the project is really in its infant stage and there was some engineering, and that will continue throughout this fiscal year. A whole bunch of money came in after year-end for that project, so I think there was another $3.5 to $4 million.”
Liabilities were up to $9,995,726 from $8,100,031 in 2019 and net financial assets totalled $22,721,275 in 2020 which was up from $17,667,604. Non-financial assets showed $134,851,122 ($134,632,988 in 2019) while the M.D.’s accumulated surplus was $157,572,397 ($152,300,592 in 2019). Revenues saw a slight increase up to $21,807,473 ($21,607,580) while expenses were down to $20,729,133 ($21,237,101).
“You can see your taxes jumped up from last year, almost a $1 million. A couple of things there — we have the linear, where we’re waiting for some people to pay and they haven’t paid for a number of years. Some of the residents were a little bit slower in paying as well,” added Zubach.
The M.D. collected $15,313,489 in municipal property tax while the largest expense were roads, streets, walks and lighting at $10,085,596. Overall, it left an excess of revenue over expenses of $5,271,805 compared to $1,078,321 in 2019.
“We have about $5.2 million in surplus this year versus $1.1 million in the prior year. Again, it was that capital money so there was a lot of capital going on and that’s why we see that this year. The other piece of that is — with capital, we see the revenue come in but we don’t expense the full capital amount. We take it over time so we’ll always see a surplus when we’re doing lots of capital projects. It’s a bit misleading because we do spend all of that money on that capital project, but we write it off over 10, 15, 20 years,” confirmed Zubach.
Cash provided by operating transactions in 2020 was $9,806,173 and cash applied to capital transactions was $4,736,940.
A motion to approve the audited financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, was carried unanimously.