Caution | State of Local Emergency declared

The City has declared a State of Local Emergency to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wear a mask and get vaccinated.

COVID-19 Information Get vaccinated

City Surplus

City Surplus

City Surplus

The City has three types of surpluses: Operating, Annual and Accumulated. The City can and has used Operating Surplus in the past to help reduce property tax increase impacts. However, the other two types of surplus amounts reported don’t represent funds available for use.

The chart below explains where each surplus type comes from and the areas it can support. The content below the chart expands on each surplus type. 

Surplus type Balance What it is and where it comes from Areas it can support
Surplus type:

Operating Surplus

$164 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2020 What it is and where it comes from:

The City doesn’t plan or budget for an operational surplus. But surplus is achieved through The City’s commitment to reduce costs and grow revenues. 

Areas it can support:

These savings (the surplus) are used to help Calgarians and has been used to reduce tax requirements. The surplus is transferred to the Fiscal Stability Reserve (FSR).

Surplus type:

Annual Surplus

Balance:

$792 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2020

What it is and where it comes from:

Annual surplus accumulates due to accounting standards that result in the grants received from government grants or developers being recognized as revenues when utilized to construct the infrastructure assets that depreciate as an expense in future years.

Areas it can support:As an indicator only, this surplus includes the Operating Surplus but does not necessarily create further availability of funds. Therefore, it partially supports budget requirements.
Surplus type:

Accumulated Surplus

Balance:

$21.818 billion balance at Dec 31, 2020

What it is and where it comes from:

This indicator represents The City’s total net economic resources, both financial and non-financial and it is the sum of net financial performance since inception. Approximately 87% of the Accumulated Surplus is represented by Tangible Capital Assets, which are those infrastructure assets developed to provide services to citizens.

Areas it can support:

This is the equity in The City comprising mainly of the value of infrastructure and equity holdings in Enmax. The value from this holding cannot be realized as funds to support other areas unless the asset, such as infrastructure (roads, bridges, Enmax) is sold.

All surplus amounts and details are shared in the Annual Report. The Annual Report provides a comprehensive view of The City’s financial statements. It also includes The City’s efforts to ensure practical cost management, savings and positive operating cash flows.

Operating Surplus


At The City operating expenses include costs of delivering services as well as operation and maintenance of facilities, infrastructure, equipment, systems and vehicles. The City has an operating budget for these costs and it’s largely funded by property tax and user fees. The City doesn’t plan or budget to spend more or less than we take in. In other words, we don’t budget for a deficit or a surplus. Achieving an Operating Surplus is reflective of The City’s commitment to reduce costs. 

The 2020 Operating Surplus of $164 million is a result of The City’s responsive decision-making, reduction of expenses and intentional workforce management when we were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as accounting for Provincial and Federal support funds received late in the year.

These operating savings (the surplus) are used to help Calgarians. The surplus is transferred to Fiscal Stability Reserve (FSR), which serves as a contingency fund for operational emergencies, urgent or contingency capital expenditures, and to compensate for unplanned revenue reductions with significant financial impacts. Funds from the 2020 operating surplus which include the Municipal Operating Support Transfer will be used towards continued COVID relief and recovery efforts in 2021.

As the Operating Surplus may not be a re-occurring revenue it cannot be used to reduce the re-occurring operating budget. 

Annual Surplus


The majority of the Annual Surplus of $792 million is due to accounting standards that result in the capital funding received from government grants or developers being recognized as revenues when utilized to construct the infrastructure assets that depreciate as an expense in future years. The amount reported is used as an indicator to represent whether The City was able to generate enough revenue to cover expenses in the year.

As a hypothetical example, if a $50 million grant is received for the construction of a bridge that has a 50-year life, we would recognize $50 million in revenue but only $1 million in expense, creating a $49 million surplus (even though we spent the full $50 million).

As an indicator only, the Annual Surplus does not necessarily create an availability of funds. Therefore, it’s not used to support budget requirements or reduce tax impacts.

Accumulated Surplus


The Accumulated Surplus of $21.818 billion represents The City’s total net economic resources, both financial and non-financial. It is the sum of net financial performance since inception. It is the equity in The City comprising mainly of the value of infrastructure and equity holdings in Enmax. The value from this holding cannot be realized as fund to support other areas unless the asset, such as infrastructure (roads, bridges, Enmax) is sold.

This Accumulated Surplus also represents amounts indicated in both the Annual Report Surplus and Operating Surplus. 

city-clerks/administration-services,city-clerks/scripts,city-clerks/council-and-committee-webcasts,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null