By Cole Parkinson
The Municipal District of Taber have made changes to policies involving investments and charitable donations.
During the M.D.’s regular meeting on April 10, council was informed of the changes moving forward with the two policies.
In regard to the investment policy, there was never a formal policy in place as staff just followed the same procedure throughout the years.
“It’s a brand new policy, we’ve never had one written before. Essentially we’re following what policy says and specifically the policy says ‘the Municipal District of Taber will maintain all investments with an ATB Financial Taber branch. The Municipal District of Taber will invest cash funds in short term investments,” said Bryan Badura, director of corporate services for the M.D.
The annual M.D. budget requires funds for payment of expenditures contained within the annual operating and capital budgets with the M.D. holding various amounts of surplus money throughout each year.
With this they will be focusing on preservation of principal, liquidity and maximizing the rate of return.
With a lot of the funds coming from property tax revenues, which are collected near the end of each year, the funds are invested in short term or cashable investments within ATB Financial.
Short term investments are for a year or less and include bank deposit notes, commercial
corporate paper, T-Bills and GIC’s.
With the policy stating “the Municipal District of Taber will maintain all investments within ATB Financial Taber Branch” Reeve Brian Brewin had questions on why they would limit themselves to just one bank.
“I know we’ve discussed having the funds go to another financial institution. For 20 some years it’s been one bank and we haven’t moved it around. I regularly get unsolicited offers from other banks or financial institutions to come invest with them. They’ve got some that qualify under the Municipal Government Act and they can get a better point or two more interest with the ATB. ATB is very competitive,” replied Badura, who also stated the process to switch banks would be long and complicated.
“If there is something that happens and we want to change the investment strategy or have that option, we can review the policy at that time.”
Council also decided a review of the policy would happen at the first organizational meeting after an election.
The charitable donations recipient policy formalizes the charitable donations receipt program and it also outlines the standards for evaluating donations in accordance with the Canada Revenue Agency.
The policy received minimal changes but it gave council a chance to review and discuss what it entails.
One of the main functions of the policy comes in the way of giving a standard operating procedure for issuing charitable donation receipts to donors for income tax purposes.
“The charitable donations policy is a different policy from a regular donation or money given for sponsorship. This deals with being defined as a donee and the status for registered charity with Canada Revenue Agency. We’ve had this policy in the past and it outlines the qualifying donations that would qualify for a charitable donation receipt to be issued by the M.D. of Taber. The only changes we recommended was to change management finance to director of corporate services,” said Badura.
Last year the M.D. had received $6,410 in charitable donations.
Council also had questions about accepting donations and putting the funds into their shooting complex.
“We can accept donations if it’s something that we are going to do out there or an activity that we pay for but we can’t just take a donation and cut a cheque to the shooting range,” added Badura.
Both policies were accepted unanimously.