Letter: Finance borrowing bylaw a 'safety net,' says mayor

Open letter to Richmond residents:

Re: “City looking to borrow $36.5M to cover losses,” News, April 30.

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Further to a recent Richmond News article, residents should note that on Monday, May 4, Richmond City Council’s Finance Committee recommended adoption of a Revenue Anticipation Borrowing Bylaw.

With final council approval next Monday, this bylaw will enable the city to temporarily borrow a maximum of $36.5 million with repayment of any outstanding monies out of this year’s property taxes.

Such a bylaw, albeit in a lower amount, has been in place for decades. It has never been used. It enables temporary borrowing should the city require funding to meet lawful expenditures or obligations to other government bodies that are due before sufficient property taxes are received.

Although council has extended the date for payment of property taxes without penalty this year, we do not expect to use the approved credit facilities. Rather, council would first draw on city reserves. 

This bylaw simply provides a useful safety net should there be a need for short term borrowing during these unusual times. We believe this to be a prudent precautionary measure.   

As the result of careful financial practices over the years, our city enjoys a strong financial position. Though the global pandemic significantly impacts our community, city council and staff will maintain strong fiscal leadership as well as the programs and services necessary to ensure a safe and resilient city. This Revenue Anticipation Borrowing bylaw supports our goals. 

Malcolm Brodie

MAYOR, CITY OF RICHMOND

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