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PC leader candidates must say no to new tax powers for municipalities: Wilson

CALGARY, AB (August 19, 2014): PC leadership candidates must say no to new taxation powers for municipalities being floated under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) review and immediately implement Wildrose’s 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer, Wildrose Municipal Affairs Critic Jeff Wilson said today.

“For years, the PCs have been inconsistent, unpredictable and politically motivated in how they support our communities. I am calling on the PC leadership candidates to take action immediately to ensure Albertans aren’t left to pick up the tab through new taxes,” Wilson said.  “The solution is Wildrose’s 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer, allocating 10 per cent of all tax revenues and 10 per cent of surpluses to municipalities, without any preconditions, including a $1.2 billion funding commitment to LRT expansion projects in Calgary and Edmonton.”

The 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer is contained in Wildrose’s Moving Alberta Forward: Building Our Urban & Rural Communities policy, announced earlier this summer.

“There is a way to make sure municipalities have the funding they need without having to burden families with new taxes,” Wilson said. 

New taxes can come with a heavy price tag for many families.  For example, a new fuel tax at five-cents-a-litre would cost the average Alberta family $177 per year, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.  This is just one of many new punitive taxes suggested in the MGA review.

Since 2012, the PCs have broken their promise for an increase in MSI funding for municipalities as well as overseen a complex system of grants that fails to respect municipal autonomy.

“We believe our municipalities deserve the respect and the resources to meet the needs of our growing communities,” Wilson said. “This can be done without having to ask Albertans to foot the bill with higher taxes.  It’s time for the PCs to get on board, put an end to this discussion of new taxes once and for all and to finally show our municipalities the funding and respect they deserve.”