COVID crunch continues to bite into City of Winnipeg finances

The financial picture for the City of Winnipeg remains clouded by the effects of the pandemic as revenues from some of its key operations remain well below normal.

The city is projecting a deficit of $12.7 million in its general revenues account and a further $13.9 million from Winnipeg Transit in the first quarter of 2021, according to an administrative report prepared for the city’s finance committee.

Transit fare income is still low, with ridership averaging 60 per cent below normal levels this year, according to the report.

The city had budgeted $61.2 million for the financial hit from the pandemic, but now sees an estimated $26.9 million in added losses and expenses due to the impacts of the health crisis.

The city faces further pressure on its fiscal stabilization reserve, currently sitting at just short of $120 million.

Revenue from parking and recreation fees, permits and the accommodation tax have continued to drag the city’s budget numbers into the red.

The report to the city’s finance committee acknowledges deficits are usually recorded in the first quarter, with the fiscal picture improving over the year. 

“However, due to the uncertainty related to the pandemic, this trend may not hold true in the current year,” the report says.

Members of the finance committee will meet Friday to review the numbers.

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