I’ve been kind of obsessed with writing about the stadium finance deal lately and have ignored those other gigantic documents that were released last week: the city budgets. But seeing as the budgets (which recommend a 4.45 per cent mill rate increase) aren’t going to be considered by council until February, they’re going to have to wait a little longer.
To tide you over until I can write something meatier, here’s my annual capital expenditures infographic. (And by infographic, I mean graph.) Click to embiggen.
What this tracks is what the city budgets for overall capital expenditures each year. That’s the black line. And that is compared to what each budget projects it will have to spend in the following four years. Those are the colourful lines.
So, in 2013, the budget says we’ll be making $84,354,000 in capital expenditures. Then, to find out what city admin thinks it ought to be spending in the next four, you follow the red line: $135,494,000 in 2014; $136,389,000 in 2015; $112,928,000 in 2016 and $111,236,000 in 2017.
As you can see, starting back in 2009, anticipated future spending shoots way up and away from actual spending.
In other words, every year, staff says, “Okay guys, next year we really have to start putting a lot more money into this city.” But then when next year rolls around, as the black line shows, the city winds up spending just a little more or a little less than it did the year before. And then staff comes out and says, “Okay, seriously! Guys! Next year….” And it keeps going on like that.
In 2011, I dubbed that area on the graph between the colourful lines and the black lines — the difference between anticipated spending and actual spending — the Procrastination Gap. It represents all the stuff the city really ought to be getting done but has to put off because it lacks sufficient revenue.
And Regina’s Procrastination Gap is very, very big.
Anyway, that’s it for now. I have another rant brewing on the stadium financing and should get back to it. (Might not post it until tomorrow though.) But I swear I’ll have more on the budget in the coming weeks.