City reports $12.3M surplus at end of 2023

The City of Winnipeg is back in black according to year-end financial results for 2023.

The city is reporting an operating surplus of $12.3 million before capital-related revenues for 2023 – a positive swing from a $144 million deficit from the previous year.

The audit was conducted by KPMG and includes all activities under the City of Winnipeg’s control including water and waste utilities, and Transit.

According to the results, revenues totalled $1.928 billion (an increase of $159 million over 2022). The report credits a 3.5 per cent property tax hike, jumps in sales of service and regulatory fees, and increased government transfers, for the revenue growth.

It notes sales of service and regulatory fees rose $47 million “mainly due to the lifting of all health orders for the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2023 and impacts of inflation on citizens’ income.” That includes ridership for regular transit increasing to 42.9 million in 2023 – a 10.1 million rider jump from 2022.

The report also indicates expenses totalled $1.915 billion (up $2 million from 2022). This is largely due to government organizations spending more to provide services to more people. However, expenses in Public Works dropped substantially because of lower snow/ice control and street clean-up costs.

“The City’s finances definitely saw more stability in 2023 when compared to recent years,” said finance chair Jeff Browaty said in a release. “Following a very challenging period due to COVID-19, the City faced fewer financial obstacles in 2023 and responsibly managed department budgets across the organization. A major takeaway from these year-end results is that we are now in a position to start replenishing the Financial Stabilization Reserve Fund over 2024 to better support the City’s operations in future years.”

The report will be presented to the Executive Policy Committee next week.

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