I have been working through the various financial plans for the 13 local municipalities. I hope to post detailed commentary on most them in the next week or so, but till then, here are some obervations.
The cost of local government is continuing to increase faster than inflation and most people will property tax increases that will be well above inflation.
There is still not enough planning for infrastructure capital projects in a number of local municipalities. The current budgeting process in several of them leave very concerned that more stop gap measures taken to reduce this year's property tax increase, they seem to be not so much financial plans but attempts to stave off things for one more year. The loser in all of this is the longer term planning, especially capital projects.
Unfortunately with 13 different municipalities and the CRD, no one is really paying any attention to the bigger financial picture of the region and there is not enough media space for any local municipalities budget to get much more than cursory coverage.