Government of Nova
gov.ns.caGovernment of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada
Municipal Affairs
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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:


Reliance on Government Transfers (%)


15% or less


Total government transfers ÷ Total revenue

Technical Definition

Total government transfers: Sum of unconditional and conditional transfers (not including grants for capital) received from the federal, provincial, or local governments

• FIR Schedule E: Lines 16000, 17000, 18000

Total revenue: Earned tax revenue (net of appropriations to regional school board, transfers to correctional services and deficits of regional housing authority), services provided to other governments, sale of services, other revenue from own sources, and operating transfers from all levels of government

• For March 31, 2012 year: FIR Schedule E – Lines 11000-18000

• For March 31, 2013 and 2014 years: FIR Schedule E – Lines 11000-18000 less Schedule GP2 Line 1022220 less Schedule GP5 Line 1025310

• For March 31, 2015 year: FIR Schedule E – Lines 11000-18000


This ratio provides an indication of a municipality’s financial independence.


A low score may indicate higher self-sufficiency; therefore, might provide council increased autonomy in making decisions.

A high score may indicate a higher dependency on government transfers which could limit councils’ autonomy in making decisions.

Municipalities with transfers exceeding 15% of total revenue are more likely to be restricted in making major financial decisions as a result of a reliance on intergovernmental transfers and weaker relative fiscal capacity.

Data Source(s)

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

Related Indicator(s)

  • Residential Tax Burden (RTB)
  • Uncollected Taxes
  • Change in Population
  • Median Household Income (MHI)