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Indicator Definitions

Each indicator has a technical definition that describes how it was calculated. The definition explains the meaning of key terminology and what the indicator is measuring. It provides information to consider when interpreting the indicator results and other indicators that measure similar aspects of a municipality's performance.

Select an indicator to display the technical definition:

 

Operating Reserves (%)

Threshold

5% or more for year March 31, 2012, 10% or more for year March 31, 2013 and forward

Formula

(Total operating reserve fund balance + accumulated surplus of the general operating fund) ÷ Total operating expenditures

Technical Definition

Total operating reserve fund balance + accumulated surplus of the general operating fund:

• For March 31, 2012 year: FIR Schedule T – (Column B) Ending Fund Balance of the Operating Reserve Fund

• For March 31, 2013 year and forward: FIR Schedule T – (Column B) Ending Fund Balance plus Schedule D - Accumulated Surplus (Note: If this line is a deficit, it is not deducted from the operating reserve fund balance)

Total operating expenditures: Sum of operating expenditures (excluding education contribution, transfers to correctional services, deficits of regional housing authorities and amortization expenses), principal installments on debentures & term loans

• For March 31, 2012: FIR Schedule E – (Column B) Total Expenditures less FIR Schedule G - Lines 1021350, 1021360, 1021370, 1022550, 1022560, 1022570, 1023550, 1023560, 1023570, 1024450, 1024460, 1024470, 1025450, 1025460, 1025470, 1026650, 1026660, 1026670, 1027350, 1027360, 1027370 plus positive values of FIR Schedule E Lines 1061000 and 1066000 plus FIR Schedule H - Lines 1069095 and 1069090 if negative

• For March 31, 2013 and 2014 years: FIR Schedule E – (Column B) Total Expenditures less Lines 1022220 and 1025310 plus positive values of FIR Schedule E Lines 1061000 and 1066000 plus FIR Schedule H Lines 1069095 and 1069090 if negative

• For March 31, 2015 year: FIR Schedule E – (Column B) Total Expenditures plus positive values of FIR Schedule E Line 1061000 plus FIR Schedule H Lines 1069095 and 1069090 if negative

Rationale

This indicator shows the total value of funds held in operating reserves compared to a single year’s operating budget. Reserves can play an important role in prudent budget planning.

Interpretations

A high percentage indicates more funds are held in operating reserves which may indicate financial strength.

A low percentage may not necessarily indicate a financially weak municipality. It may simply reflect council policy to keep tax rates at a minimum, rather than building reserves.

Data Source(s)

  • Municipal Financial Information Return (FIR) - General Operating Fund (non-consolidated)
  • Municipal Financial Information Return (FIR) - Operating Reserve Fund (non-consolidated)

Related Indicator(s)

  • Deficits in the Last Five years
  • Total Capital From Operating
  • 5-year Capital Purchases
  • Total Reserves as a % of Expenditures