New financing model is sought
Photo: Wayne Moore / fil
Municipalities across BC are united in their belief that the current fiscal policy framework between the province and the municipalities is broken.
BC Urban Mayor’s Caucus, representing 13 of the province’s larger municipalities, welcomes the efforts announced this week to look at ways to address it.
Earlier this week, the Union of BC Municipalities and Provincial Ministers of Finance and Municipal Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding to revise the municipal finance system.
“Municipalities across the province are bearing the burden of escalating costs, further intensified by the ongoing health pandemic and the download of federal and provincial officials by default rather than design,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, co-chair of the mayor’s caucus.
“A new, collaborative and modernized model of taxation that goes beyond property taxes is crucial to the economic, social and environmental health of our society. We look forward to a new model emerging that is fair and ensures economic security and sustainability. for communities throughout the province.
“While we recognize the need to do it right, we see the need for the work to be completed in a timely manner in order to best serve BC’s communities.”
According to the province, the review will include discussions about cost pressures local governments may experience around affordable housing, social security and climate change and the impact of the new economy.
Progress under the MOU will be made through a local government financial audit working group composed of staff from the province and UBCM.
The group will review the municipal finance system in BC, analyze the recommendations of the UBCM report, and discuss issues of common interest.