Frequently Asked Questions

Why do Municipalities develop budgets?

Pursuant to Alberta's Municipal Government Act, every municipality is required to develop a three-year operating budget and five-year capital budget to allocate revenues and expenditures for their municipality.

What is an operating budget?

The operating budget provides resources for the day-to-day costs of delivering municipal services to ratepayers. 

What is a capital budget?

The capital budget funds major fixed assets for the future. 

How are budgets funded?

Council and Administration calculate how much money is necessary to fund the operating and capital budgets and then generate the funds from multiple sources including property taxation, net transfers from reserve, grants and revenue. 

What do budget expenses fund?

Budgets enable a municipality to deliver programs and services necessary to maintain and enhance residents' standard of living. This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • maintaining roads, utilities, cemeteries, airport and public infrastructure;
  • providing of protective services such as police, bylaw and fire rescue to keep people safe;
  • maintaining and supporting parks and facilities for people's recreation;
  • managing waste to keep our municipality clean and healthy;
  • promoting development; and, 
  • providing social programs and initiatives that make the municipality a great place to live, work and visit.

What is a reserve?

A reserve is similar to a savings account. Municipalities are not permitted to run deficit budgets, so reserves allow municipalities to save money for critical capital and operating budget items, while abiding by their legislated financial management requirements. This approach minimizes the use of financing, which allows the municipality to stay within debt limits and ultimately saves municipal taxpayers money by reducing interest costs. 

The Municipality has established various requirements for usage, funding, and level of saving for each reserve. 

What is an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan?

The starting point of planning for the Municipal District of Fairview No. 136 is identifying current opportunities and challenges, establishing short-term and long-term objectives, and developing action plans to meet the objectives.  This information is outlined in the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP). 

The ICSP guides the Municipality, it is short-term and long-term planning and serves as a foundation upon which the Municipality's annual budgets are developed. 

The ICSP is a living document, able to be adapted to changing circumstances and conditions within the municipality. The ICSP is reviewed and evaluated annually to ensure that it reflects the values and vision of residents of the Municipal District of Fairview No. 136. 

When are budgets approved?

The Municipality approves an interim budget in the fall annually for the following year. The finalized budget and municipal tax rates are approved once the Province sets the final property tax levy for education requisitions, and when property assessment values have been confirmed through final budget deliberation meetings in late April or early May.