Budget 101

A municipal budget is a planned itemized summary of the money that is coming into a municipality and how that money is being spent in a specific period of time, referred to as a fiscal period. 

The City of Charlottetown's annual fiscal period is April 1 - March 31. The budget is presented publicly, each year, by the end of March or first of April.

The City of Charlottetown’s Capital and Operational budgets are monitored by the Finance, Auditing, and Tendering standing committee and managed by the City’s Finance department.

Responsibilities of Finance
Specific areas of responsibility for the Finance department includes all general government billing, payments and computer accounting systems, preparation of financial statements, purchasing, insurance coverage and claims, and banking.

The Finance department reports to the Finance, Audit and Tendering Standing Committee. The major activity of the Finance Standing Committee is to review the consolidated financial information and set in place policies and procedures to ensure that the financial report to Council, Administration, Auditors, Financial Institutions, and the general public is both timely and accurate.

The City's audited financial statements are available online for public access, along with the City's budget documents and Council expenses.
How the City Generates Revenue
The City’s revenue is generated from many sources including grants, government funding, user fees, and taxes.

Property taxes are collected by the Province of PEI and the municipal portion is provided by the Province to Charlottetown each month.

For every dollar that comes into the City, approximately 47 cents comes from the municipal portion of property taxes, 22 cents comes from provincial grants, 12.5 cents comes from Water and Sewer Utility fees, and 18.5 cents comes from user fees (such as recreation program fees) and other sources.

This revenue then gets divided up between the many sectors of the municipality and is used to provide services and offer programs to the citizens of Charlottetown.

Expenses: Operational vs. Capital
The City’s expenditures, or what it spends money on, is divided into two categories: operational and capital.

The Operational Budget includes funds for all the daily recurring expenses of the municipality such as supplies, fuel, utilities and staff wages. Sometimes, there’s a surplus or money that can be put aside and used for emergency or debt repayment.

The Capital Budget includes money for big, one-time purchases and investments. Things like road upgrades, new City trucks such as fire trucks, new facilities or upgrades, or new trails, for example. If the City has to borrow for these capital expenditures, the surplus or money from the operating budget might be used for dept repayment, paying back that borrowed money.


Provincial legislation states that money coming into the City must be equal to the expenses, in other words the revenue must equal the expenditures. This creates a balanced budget.

For a closer look at how the City of Charlottetown spends its money, visit www.charlottetown.ca/budget