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:


5-year Capital Purchases (%)


100% or more


Total purchases of capital assets over a 5-year period ÷ Total depreciation accrued over the same 5-year period

Technical Definition

Total purchases of capital assets over a 5-year period: Total dollars spent over the most recent five years on acquiring capital assets

• For March 31, 2012 year: Tangible Capital Assets note in financial statements

• For March 31, 2013 year and forward: FIR Schedule W - Line 10S1025

Total depreciation accrued over the same 5-year period: The sum of all depreciation that accumulated on capital assets, gain/loss on sale of capital assets, and write downs of capital assets over the most recent five years

• For March 31, 2012 year: FIR Schedule G - Lines 1021350, 1021360, 1021370,1022550, 1022560, 1022570, 1023550, 1023560, 1023570, 1024450, 1024460, 1024470, 1025450, 1025460, 1025470, 1026650, 1026670, 1027350, 1027360, 1027370

• For March 31, 2013 year and forward: FIR Schedule JP1 - Lines 2021000-2027000

Note: Indicator data available only from 2010 onward. As a result, 2012 FCI is based on three years of data, 2013 FCI is based on four years of data, and 2014 and 2015 FCIs are based on five years of data


This indicator provides a comparison of how fast a municipality is investing in capital assets and how quickly their assets are aging. Regular capital investment is a key part of sound asset management and is necessary to mitigate risk of interrupted service delivery as a result of failing infrastructure.


A percentage less than 100% indicates that the municipality’s assets are aging faster than it is investing in new assets.

A percentage more than 100% indicates that capital investment is at least as high as annual depreciation.

A very high percentage usually indicates that the municipality made a major capital investment within the 5-year period.

Caution should be used when interpreting this indicator: Municipalities may be taking other approaches such as building capital reserves to address the need to replace capital assets. Additional information is required to gain a complete understanding of a municipality’s capital investment and asset management plans.

Data Source(s)

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

Related Indicator(s)

  • Residential Tax Effort
  • Debt Service
  • Outstanding Debt
  • Total Capital From Operating
  • Undepreciated Assets
  • 5-year Contributions to Capital Reserves