CALGARY, AB (February 12, 2014): The Wildrose 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer would remove the need for new municipal taxes while allowing municipalities to meet their needs with more funding than they currently receive from the PC government, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
The 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer would flow 10 per cent of provincial tax revenue and 10 per cent of budget surpluses directly to Alberta’s towns, cities and municipal districts using a formula devised in consultation with municipalities. Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said because the 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer is tied to revenue growth, it would provide municipalities with the stability and predictability they need without resorting to raising taxes on Alberta families. “There is a way to make sure municipalities have the dollars they need without raising taxes, and we believe this is it,” Smith said. “The 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer will result in more money reaching municipalities and it will do so without burdening Alberta families with new taxes.” The 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer would bundle together 10 per cent of revenues collected from personal and corporate income taxes, education tax, tobacco tax and fuel tax and flow it through directly and without pre-conditions to municipalities. Once the budget returns to surplus, 10 per cent of each budget surplus would also be transferred. The 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer would see $1.97 billion flow through to municipalities in 2015-16 compared to the $1.49 billion they are scheduled to get under the PCs’ complex system of grants. Wildrose Municipal Affairs Critic Jeff Wilson said the funding formula would be developed in consultation with municipalities. As with the Municipal Sustainability Initiative formula, the Wildrose funding formula would include a number of variables to ensure the different needs of individual communities were being met. He also said Wildrose guarantees no municipality would receive less money under the Community Infrastructure Transfer than they would have otherwise. “Every community will get as much funding or more under the our plan. And because it will be a transparent, predictable amount, everyone will be better off,” Wilson said. “A single transfer like this means municipalities won’t have to apply for a complex patchwork of grants from the province. They will receive a transparent amount every year that is tied to provincial revenues.” Wilson also said the PCs’ current municipal grant system has led to instability and underfunding, prompting cities like Calgary explore the possibilities of new taxes. “Premier Redford clearly promised no new taxes during the last election campaign. If she allows cities the ability to tax, it would be yet another broken promise to add to an already long list,” Wilson said. “The 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer would substantially increase how much funding municipalities would receive without hiking taxes.”