Statutory Deadlines for Municipal Adoption of Financial Plan and Tax Rate Bylaws
Circular No. 17:10
ARCS File#: 195-20
April 24, 2017
To: All Municipal Financial Administrators
Re: Statutory Deadlines for Municipal Adoption of Financial Plan and Tax Rate Bylaws
As it is budget season again, this circular is to remind municipalities of the statutory deadlines for the Financial Plan Bylaw and Annual Tax Rate Bylaw. Section 197 of the Community Charter requires municipalities to adopt the Tax Rate Bylaw before May 15. Section 165 of the Community Charter requires municipalities adopt the Financial Plan Bylaw before the Tax Rate Bylaw. However, these two bylaws may be adopted at the same meeting providing the Financial Plan Bylaw is adopted first.
For clarity, the Ministry has interpreted “before” to exclude the actual day of the deadline. Thus, the deadline of “before May 15” may be interpreted as “by May 14”. In 2017, May 14 falls on a Sunday, which is not a normal business day for the municipal office.
Under Section 25(3) of the Interpretation Act, when a deadline occurs on a “day when the office is not open during regular business hours, the time [deadline] is extended to the next day that the office is open.” Thus, for 2017, the deadline for adopting the both the Financial Plan Bylaw and the Tax Rate Bylaw is on May 15, 2017.
We strongly recommend that municipalities adopt the Financial Plan Bylaw and Tax Rate Bylaw well in advance of the statutory deadlines. Also, please remember that the financial planning process must involve public consultation in accordance with Section 166 of the Community Charter.
The following schedule provides the statutory deadlines for specific activities associated with the latest adoption of the Financial Plan Bylaw and Tax Rate Bylaw for 2017. These are the latest possible dates to complete these activities:
Notice of Special Meeting - On Thursday, May 11, 2017
- If a municipality intends to adopt the Financial Plan Bylaw and Tax Rate Bylaw at a special meeting, Section 127(2) of the Community Charter requires at least 24 hours advanced public notice of the meeting date and time.
First Three readings of both Bylaws - On Friday, May 12, 2017
- Deadline for a council meeting to give the Financial Plan Bylaw and Tax Rate Bylaw the first 3 readings.
- Note: Section 135(3) of the Community Charter requires at least one day between 3rd reading and bylaw adoption. That intervening “day” does not need to be a business day; it could be a weekend or holiday.
Final Adoption of Both Bylaws - On Monday, May 15, 2017
- Deadline for a council meeting to adopt the Financial Plan Bylaw and Tax Rate Bylaw the first 3 readings.
- The Financial Plan Bylaw must be adopted prior to adoption of Tax Rate Bylaw
The Ministry would appreciate if municipalities forward certified copies of the adopted Financial Plan Bylaw and Tax Rate Bylaw to us as soon as possible after the adoption date.
If you have any questions or need any further information please contact the Ministry at LGDE@gov.bc.ca or call 250 387-4060.
Director, Local Government Finance