Saturday, June 7, 2008

CFIB Report - BC Municipal Government Spending

Hello all:

Earlier this week, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business released a report on "out-of-control" spending by BC local governments. In this report, they suggest that spending by municipal governments is double that of inflation and population growth. Now, I know my fellow "blogger" Langley Township Councillor Jordan Bateman reads my blog regularly and is likely to agree with me that municipal government spending isn't really out of control as opposed to municipal governments spending money on services/infrastructure that residents want. Here in Williams Lake, RCMP costs cover about 30% of the City of Williams Lake's budget and the rest goes towards other services that people expect including Recreation Services, improvements to infrastructure, and so on. While I appreciate the opinion of the CFIB, I don't think they appreciate the voters' appetite for basic services (fire, police, etc) in their local communities. I'm sure Councillor Bateman has been approached by Langley Township residents for many requests, but as the old saying goes, "There is one taxpayer and he/she has so much money to give to governments". The challenge here is how to wean municipal governments off of relying on property taxes for a substantive majority of their budgets. This is especially true in Metro Vancouver communities where demand for services including transit is high.