Abbotsford’s Debt Not 2nd Largest In BC

By Dave Loewen. In your article of March 20, [Hockey Predictions] you make reference to Abbotsford’s debt as being the 2nd largest, next to Vancouver’s. This is not the first time I’ve heard comments to this effect. To set the record straight, I provide the following clarification, based on December 31, 2011 data taken from the Ministry website at:

Long-Term Debt – $92,160.000 – 4th in Province
Per Capita Long-Term Debt – $693.24 – 64th in Province
Debt Financing – $9,004,000 – 9th in Province
Per Capita Debt Financing – $64.62 – 94th in Province

The provincial table is missing some important data, the inclusion of which would provide a more complete picture of debt carried by Metro Cities. All infrastructure projects related to water, liquid and solid waste, and housing are not included; they are part of a Metro Budget, and hence do not appear as debts of individual Metro cities found in this table.

For Metro Vancouver, that figure is $370M., a debt shared by all taxpayers living in the Metro area, which extends to our western neighbour, Langley. For example, their water debt ($97M.) represents 44% of their total water budget. Granted, this will be raised through fees, but some of the other capital projects will be financed through property taxes. The Water Capital Programs & Projects carries a $156M. debt. In the end, whether by way of a fee or a property tax, residents of Metro cities bear the burden of this debt.

One might also wish to include the Transit Tax requisition and the Gas Tax to provide an even more complete picture of their tax burden.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Anne Graham says:

    No wonder you wanted to throw us all under the bus for $292,000,000.00 P3 water, it’s because you’re completely insane.

  • DeceitinDrugs says:

    When looking at the BC stats, regarding city debt figures, Abbotsford “appears” to be at par with other municipalities, considering some of the smaller cities have a larger debt than Abbotsford.

    However, the figures listed can be deceiving to the average citizen, who simply looks at these figures as being the actual entire debt for the cities listed.

    Debt according to the Investors word states,”an amount owed for funds “borrowed,” they key word being “borrowed.” Debt can be a loan note or other forms stating repayment terms and if applicable include interest repayments.

    The cities’ debt figure is – 92 million

    Add in:
    Money borrowed for arena cost overrun in 2009 – 30 million (portions may have already been paid back)
    Interchange upgrades and airport land purchases, 2011 Joint water projects. Internal Borrowing – 20 million
    from DCC Road program DCC Water program….
    (Difference between DCCs to be collected and actual expenditures)

    Plan A subsidies – 12+ million

    Total Debt incurred thru External borrowing and Internal borrowing 154+- million

    Given the economic downturn and slowdown in housing, one cannot depend on Development Cost Charges to replenish internal borrowed funds in near future.

    Several projects have, also, been deferred due to lack of funds in the City reserves and future borrowing may be needed for road infrastructure/water/sewer projects….esp. water/sewer totalling
    near $1 billion in future …

    The cities’ debt figure in 2006 = 30,644,732.00
    ” ” 2007 = 123,401,000.00
    ” ” 2011 = 92,160,000.00

    ***$85,000.00 was borrowed for Plan A, but, $30 million cost overun was paid out of the cities Capital Rerve Fund, short changing funds for road infrastructure by $30 million and that money has to be replenished from somewhere.

    When all the debt, deferrals, and internal borrowing is taken into account, one can truly, understand Abbotsford taxpayer concerns about the citiy’s continued escalating debt.

  • Jay says:

    So fourth largest is better than second largest? Yeah. right.
    Weep no more! We’re number 4!
    You mentioned the govt numbers don’t have all the data for the other metro cities. As mentioned by Deceit in Drugs, Abbotsford’s numbers also don’t include some important numbers.
    Face it Dave, you and your fellow councillors, goaded on by Teichroeb and the late unlamented Mark Taylor(hope he had time to make his peace with his Maker) have been spending us into oblivion.
    You are abysmal managers!
    Your only choice for all those vanity projects – Plan A, bike lanes, friendship gardens, paving the Discovery Trail and the list goes on, is to increase fees and taxes,

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