YK posts $8 million surplus in 2020

A file photo of city hall in Yellowknife. (Supplied by City of Yellowknife Twitter.)
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The city reported a surplus of just over $8 million in 2020.

City administrator Sheila Bassi-Kellett said the city added a good year, with revenues coming in slightly over budget and expenses slightly under budget.

Higher revenues came from slightly higher property tax income than expected, as well as the money the city gathered from user fees — money residents pay to use things like recreation facilities — was higher than expected, although it decreased compared to 2019.

With the $8 million in 2020, the city’s accumulated surplus rose to $316 million. This does not mean the city has a reserve of cash available for spending. Rather this surplus determines the city’s net worth, which increased by $8 million in 2020 because of the surplus.

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City administration said this puts the city in a favourable position to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite the surplus, there wasn’t any funding added to the city’s capital budget, because of uncertainty surrounding the impacts of the pandemic.

“I think we’re going to see for the budget 2022, we’re gonna have to really make some hard decisions about whether or not we’re going to spend money or not spend the money and let our assets go past their best due date,” said Councillor Niels Konge. “So I think it’s a good position to be in going forward.”

Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty said she thanked the federal and territorial governments for providing COVID-19 relief funding, without which the city’s financial statements would look quite different, she said.

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