Award-winning Financial Planning

The City has earned Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards for the annual Financial Plan in past years, most recently, for the 2021-2025 Financial Plan as well as an Award of Excellence for the Colwood Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan from the Government Financial Officers Association.

The City of Colwood is committed to sound financial management and is required by legislation to present a balanced budget every spring.

Like any business or household, the needs and expectations of a municipality are often greater than what can be afforded at one time. Difficult choices must be made based on the priorities of the community and Council. The goal is to deliver a high level of service that strikes a balance between household prosperity and city-building initiatives that will improve quality of life while optimizing our tax base. 

How are budget decisions made?

Colwood's Official Community Plan sets out the community's vision, goals, and objectives. At the beginning of each term, Council creates a Strategic Plan that identifies areas that require attention. All this gets built into Service Plans for each program area and the Service Plans are reviewed annually by Council in order to draft a 5-year Financial Plan.


Frequently Asked Budget Questions

What is the Service Review? 
Each fall, staff facilitate a Service Review process to reaffirm Council's service expectations and clarify priorities for the coming year.

What is an operating budget?
The operating budget outlines the City's spending plan to implement Council's goals and priorities based on the Strategic Plan and expectation set in the Service Review. It is based on day-to-day operations of programs and services such as road maintenance, parks, fire rescue and policing. Examples of operating expenses include alaries and wages, insurance, supplies and equipment. 

What is a capital budget?
The capital budget outlines expenditures and funding for assets and related programs, such as sewer infrastructure, new roads, bridges, trails and parks.

Does the City access grant funding?
Provincial and federal grants allow the City to deliver on major projects while minimizing impact on property tax. Recent successful applications include:

  • the Galloping Goose Overpass Bridge - $3,661,366
  • Metchosin Road Sidewalks $1,015,000
  • Business software/online services $355,900
  • Neighbourhood Wayfinding Signs $162,525
  • Cenotaph Access Improvements $6,319
  • Heritage Registry $40,000
  • TOTAL: $5,241,110 earned in grant funding in 2020 & 2021, which equates to $276.42 per resident

What charges are included on the tax notice?
Less than half your tax bill is municipal tax. In 2022, 51% of the charges on a Colwood residential property tax notice were collected for other agencies, such as the Ministry of Education, Capital Regional District, BC Transit and the Hospital Board. All these charges go on one tax notice as an efficient billing process where residents don't have to deal with multiple bills. 

2023 Budget process

Following the Service Review, a draft financial plan is prepared for review and discussion in a series of public meetings.

View the 2022-2026 Financial Plan which was presented to Council on March 14, 2022 for first, second and third readings.

Colwood residents are encouraged to attend meetings to learn more and provide input. Feedback is also welcome by email to

Date Meeting Budget Topic
Jan 10, 2023 Service Review Public Works, Parks, Boulevards: Reaffirm Council Expectations and Service Priorities
Jan 12, 2023 Service Review Roads, Sewers, Fire, Building, Admin: Reaffirm Council Expectations and Service Priorities
Jan 17, 2023 Service Review Finance, IT, GIS, Engineering: Reaffirm Council Expectations and Service Priorities
Jan 19, 2023 Service Review  Development Services & Community Planning: Reaffirm Council Expectations and Service Priorities:
Jan 24, 2023 Service Review  HR & Policing: Reaffirm Council Expectations and Service Priorities
Feb 21, 2023 Budget Discussions Discussion of Operating, Capital and Grant in Aid Budgets
Feb 23, 2023 Budget Discussions Discussion of Operating, Capital and Grant in Aid Budgets

Check the Meeting Calendar for information about all City meetings.

Property tax notices are prepared after the financial plan and tax rate bylaws are adopted by Council. Tax notices are issued near the end of May and tax payments are due on the first business day after July 1st.

Read more about Property Tax.

Past Year's Financial Plans

Current: 5-Year Financial Plan 2022-2026
Past: 5-Year Financial Plan 2021-20255-Year Financial Plan 2020-2024

What is Colwood's overall direction for the future?

The Colwood Official Community Plan outlines the City's vision, goals and objectives based on the input of more than 1400 direct interactions with residents and stakeholders.

Read about Council's Strategic Priorities. Goals for 2019-2023 focus on enhancing Mobility, Prosperity, Governance and Vibrancy.

Additional guiding documents include the Transportation Master Plan, Economic Development Strategy, the Parks & Recreation Master Plan and others. Find them all at