At the three-quarter mark of fiscal 2015, the Resort Municipality of Whistler's (RMOW) finances were in good shape, according to the Third Quarter Financial Report presented to council on Jan. 26.
The report covers the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2015.
By that point, 95 per cent of budgeted municipal revenues had been collected — $72,772,174 of a budgeted $76,581,783.
"Most of that comes from property tax and taxation," said director of finance Ken Roggeman in a presentation to council.
"Almost every revenue line for the municipality in 2015 is at or greater than where we were in the prior year."
One exception to that is Resort Municipality Initiative revenues, Roggeman said, which come from the provincial government as a way to grow tourism.
Not all of the RMI payments from the province had been made as of Sept. 30, Roggeman said, and as such don't factor into the Q3 report.
Revenues from the MRDT — or hotel tax — increased more than any other revenue area, Roggeman explained.
"Nine months into 2015 it was $295,000, or about 10-per-cent more than it was in the previous year for the same period," he said.
Revenues from permits and fees, mostly from development areas like planning and building, were up significantly as well.
"The building department, by the end of September, they were at 165 per cent of budgeted revenue for the year," Roggeman said.
"The level of activity that's going on in those departments is a reflection of the amount of development and interest that appears to be here in the community."
Meanwhile, overall expenditures hit 72 per cent of the annual budgeted amount as of Sept. 30, 2015, or $42,041,041 of a budgeted $58,469,151
"(It's) very comparable to the 74 per cent we were at in the prior year, and in fact, in dollar values that's about $218,000 more in 2015 than it was in 2014," Roggeman said.
"So given the level of activity, the amount of work that's going on, the (increased number of) visitors in the resort, we haven't spent a lot more money by the end of the third quarter."
Roggeman did note that the Q4 results — with year-end and actuarial adjustments — have yet to come.
"A lot can still happen in the fourth quarter," he said.
Asked by mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden if there were any surprises Roggeman replied, "No surprises in here.
"(But) it won't be that long until we come out with a draft fourth quarter report, and I'll be interested to see just how well that compares to what the first three quarters of the year look like.
"If there are surprises, that's when it will come up, but at this point we're not aware of any so it looks good."
RMOW investment holdings increased as well — from a market value of $109,556,360 at the end of Q3 2014 to $119,558,209 in 2015.
Investment income for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2015 was $1,672,460 (unaudited) — 80 per cent of the total budgeted investment income for the year.
"The annualized return is 2.21 per cent on those investment balances, so good to see that as well," Wilhelm-Morden said.
The quarterly reports were initiated in 2012 as a way of keeping track of finances and being able, therefore, to make changes if necessary.
"It's very reassuring, because we know that staff are looking at the performance — both the revenues in and the expenditures out — and reporting them to us every three months, so if something is starting to go sideways we've got time to act on it rather than waiting," said Wilhelm-Morden, adding that she sees no red flags in this particular report.
"The previous practice was to wait until you saw the audited financial statements. Well, they don't come to council until four months after year end, so by then, if something has gone seriously sideways, you're just not going to be able to react to it on a timely basis."
The RMOW's financial reports are published to its website at www.whistler.ca/municipal-gov/budget-taxes/financial-plans-reports.
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