Read the report:
In recent years, municipalities have been singled out in a series of reports published by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). These reports have raised questions about municipal spending, tax policy and accountability. Local governments have expressed concern with the assumptions and methodology adopted by the CFIB's reports. The Comment was produced by UBCM in partnership with the Local Government Management Association and Government Finance Officers Association in order to provide a broader discussion of these issues and to support municipal communications.
Among the report's findings, three in particular undercut claims advanced by the CFIB.
- Over the past two decades, local government spending has been driven by increases in two general areas: protective services; and parks and recreation. Over the same period, the portion of total spending related to overhead has declined.
- The share of the property tax paid by businesses has declined slightly over the past two decades. During the same period, residential owners have seen their share increase by 7%.
- Contrary to the CFIB's claims that the business community does not have a voice at Council tables, 72% of the mayors and 59% of the councillors in BC's municipalities come from the private sector.
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