Carole James on Municipal Spending

NDP Leader Carole James has suggested The Canadian Federation of Independent Buisness is targeting the wrong government, when it comes to overspending by municipalities.

During her visit to the Peace region this week, the opposition leader has stated the problem is not a case of civic government spending insensibility…but rather, a case of the provincial government downloading costs to the municipal level… [asset|aid=2144|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=0d83ddd468dc20fe0937974c161f15b6-James {Civic Spending}_2_Pub.mp3]

Last week The Canadian Federation of Independent Buisness released the details of its second annual edition of the BC Municipal Spending Watch. It claims that once again it shows that operating expenditures at the municipal level continue to grow at an unsustainable rate.

It says only 2.8  percent of British Columbians now live in a municipality that has kept growth in operating spending between 2000 and 2007, lower than population and inflation growth.

It also reports only 24 small municipalities in BC have been able to restrain spending on operations…meaning 129 have not. It notes, that by law, municipalities cannot run a budget deficit.

Thus, in order to pay for a 43 percent increase in operating spending, between 2000 and 2007, municipal property taxes have increased by 42 percent, and user fees by 95 percent.

As reported earlier, the Federation is repeating its call for a provincially appointed auditor-general, to watch over municipal spending and provincial legislation, imposing limits on local government spending and tax increases.