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.