Financial Plan (Budget) and Financial Reporting

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What is a financial plan?

A financial plan, which used to be called a budget, must be adopted by all municipalities.  The financial plan contains:

  • an operating budget;  
  • a capital budget;
  • a 5-year capital expenditure program; with, 
  • an asset management plan. 

If a municipality does not have any capital expenditures planned, this can be noted in the operating budget.  

A municipal operating budget template is available for municipalities. 

Can a municipality budget for a deficit?

Council cannot project a deficit in their operating budget for any fiscal year other than for amortization and the public utility.

If an operating deficit is projected at the end of a fiscal year that is not offset from a reserve fund or surplus fund, the operating deficit must be debited to the operating fund for the next fiscal year unless the Minister has approved another way to address it.  

If a municipal council determines during the fiscal year that their operating expenses are likely to exceed revenues and transfers provided for in their operating budget by more than 5%, the council must notify the Minister immediately and the Minister may approve the operational deficit for that fiscal year.

What is the municipal financial year?

The municipal fiscal year runs from April 1 – March 31.  Property taxation is on the calendar year. 

Where can I learn more about Asset Management? 

The Infrastructure Secretariat has created a Municipal Expenditure Tool to assist municipalities with their costing of asset management plans.  Municipalities who own water and/or sewer infrastructure can access important information about these assets through an online viewer developed by the Province. For more information call 1-888-240-4411 to contact the Infrastructure Secretariat.

What are the Financial Plan Regulations?

The MGA Financial Plan Regulations provide more detail on what is required for each of the three components of the financial plan.

  • Sections 2 - 6: requirements for the operating budget
  • Section 7: contents of the capital budget
  • Section 8-9: contents for the capital expenditure program and asset management program.

How is a financial plan adopted?

Before the financial plan is adopted, there must be a public meeting held at least 2 weeks before the financial plan is adopted by council.  The purpose of this required public meeting is to provide the public with information about the proposed financial plan.  Members of the public do not vote on the municipality's financial plan. 

Council must adopt the financial plan by resolution at a council meeting (open to the public) before March 31.  

Financial plans must be submitted to the Minister by April 15 - File Municipal Financial Documents

Questions? Please call 902-620-3558 or email  

What are the financial reporting requirements for municipalities?

All municipalities, no matter the size of their budgeted expenditures, are required to appoint an auditor to conduct an annual audit of finances of the municipality.  

The completed audited financial statements for the municipality must be submitted to the Minister by October 15.

What is the Annual Municipal Information Return (AMIR)?

The AMIR is used to collect financial data from all island municipalities.  Municipal Affairs uses the data to generate municipal statistical reports and to meet reporting requirements of Statistics Canada, which uses the data for national reporting.

What are the timelines for financial reporting?

  • September 30 – Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) must have documents back from the auditor
  • Council approves audited financial statements by resolution
  • October 15 – CAO provides Council and the Minister with the audited financial statements and the auditor's report. 

         The CAO must also provide the Minister with: 

  •  The completed Annual Municipal Information Return (AMIR) - sent directly to CAOs annually. 
  •   October 31 – Municipality makes the financial statements and associated documents available to the public (public notice must be provided)

File Municipal Financial Information with the Minister

Key dates at a glance 

Dates to Keep in Mind




Financial Plan being developed, Public Meetings & Council approval

March 31

Council adopts Financial Plan

March 31 

Submit any required tax rate form to Taxation

April 15

Submit approved financial plan to Municipal Affairs

September 30

Council approves audited financial statements

October 15

Submit audited financial statements & AMIR to Municipal Affairs 

October 31

Publish financial statements from  municipal website 

Note: This page is prepared for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice.


Date de publication : 
le 11 Juin 2024