(City of Saint John Power Point Image)

A new report card on the City’s financial health shows the situation has improved significantly since 2016. Among other things – the debt per capita is $1394 slightly better than the target of $1427. The City has budgeted to pay down its debt by $7.4 million thus year – almost $2 million more than the $5.1 million target in its 10 year Financial Plan. Personnel costs are 54.3% of the 2021 budget – lower than the projected 57% in the plan.

On the weak side is the tax base growth didn’t hit its target of 1.5% – the actual percentage in the 2021 budget is 1.03%. The Unconditional Grant from the province this year represents 11.6% of total revenue while the goal was to hit 10.1% – a number impacted by the soft growth in the tax base.

Another positive note is the City’s Reserve Funds – the so called “rainy day funds” had just $2 million dollars set aside in 2016 – that number now sits at a combined total of $14 million dollars.

The summary of the staff report to Council’s Finance Committee last night says overall – the City is on track with its 10 year Financial Strategy. “However – like any other journey – plans need to be adjusted to reflect new information and experience. Future updates will be based on new council priorities – strategic planning – economic conditions etc.”