Delta is the fourth highest spender and taxer in Metro Vancouver, according to a report released by the Fraser Institute on Thursday.
The report, which compares spending on public services and revenue averages across 17 Metro Vancouver municipalities, found that Delta spent $1,823 per resident in 2016. The only cities to spend more are Vancouver ($1,944), New Westminster ($2,225) and West Vancouver ($2,583).
Surrey was actually the lowest spender per person of all the municipalities surveyed, spending $1,057 per resident in 2016. (Delta’s other neighbour, Richmond, was 10th of 17, spending $1,508 per resident.)
The majority of Delta’s spending goes to protective services, which includes police, fire and bylaw departments, as well as solid waste management and utilities. Those cost a respective $643 and $374 per person, or 35.3 per cent and 20.5 per cent of the city’s total operating expenditures.
Proportionately, Delta is one of the highest spenders on transportation and transit, using 11.6 per cent of its budget ($212 per person) to support things like sidewalks, streetlights, road maintenance, snow removal, motor vehicle inspections and municipal parking. This does not include spending by TransLink.
Delta also spends the least (proportionately) on parks and recreation, with 16.7 per cent of its operating costs ($304 per person) going towards green spaces, trails, playing fields, swimming pools, libraries, gymnasiums and heritage conservation programs.
Of course, all this money has to come from somewhere, and Delta received the fourth highest revenue of the 17 Metro Vancouver cities, at $2,564 per person in 2016. (This is an average based on the population of Delta, and does not necessarily mean each resident paid $2,564 to the city.)
This is lower than neighbouring New Westminster’s revenue, which was the second-highest in Metro Vancouver ($2,786), but higher than Richmond ($2,260) and significantly higher than Surrey, which was the second-lowest in Metro Vancouver ($1,673).
More than half of Delta’s revenue ($1,325 per person) is “taxation revenue,” which means it comes from property, parcel, local service, utility, business and hotel taxes, as well as interest and penalties on unpaid taxes. Of this taxation revenue, 53.9 per cent is residential and 46.1 per cent is from businesses.
This makes Delta the second-most taxed city in Metro Vancouver, coming in after West Vancouver ($1,504 per person).
Delta’s remaining revenue comes from user fees ($741 per person), developer fees ($398), government transfers ($34) and other revenue ($66).