Listen to our webinar on Tools for Fair Taxation, with economist and CCPA research associate Hugh Mackenzie on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013. Click here to watch and listen to the full Webinar. Click here to download Hugh Mackenzie’s Powerpoint. Click here to read Hugh’s article on Local Government Finance in Ontario, in our Innovative Strategies Leadership Handbook. Hugh Mackenzie is principal in READ MORE
“Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr brought forth a bankruptcy filing that would give current and future retired city workers 10 cents on the dollar of pension benefits they had accrued.” “Experts feel the biggest threat to Canadian municipal pension plans is a looming bill of about $200 billion to replace aging infrastructure. If money is READ MORE
In this Tyee article , Past North Vancouver School Board Trustee Crawford Kilian writes about potential implications of the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the North Vancouver School Board must reimburse the family of Jeffery Moore, who put their son into private school in order to get adequate support for his learning disability. As the READ MORE
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS) releases its first ever Alternative Municipal Budget for the HRM today during the election campaign and well in advance of the normal budget cycle. The Alternative Budget contains 65 action items and their estimated costs. It includes strategic investments in community centres and recreation programs, in early READ MORE
This past year, city councils in Toronto and Calgary initiated Participatory Budgeting processes, to allow citizens more of a voice about where their city’s money goes. In Calgary 23,000 people took part in the process. Other communities, such as Victoria, are watching closely and talking about possibilities for engaging their citizens. Participatory Budgeting is being READ MORE
Rob Ford is pressuring the Toronto Library board to cut 10% of its budget, totaling approximately 7 million dollars. The board has been pouring over recommendations for cuts including eliminating computers from all libraries, charging for library cards and closing 38 of Toronto’s libraries. For now the board has voted against closures. They have yet READ MORE
An article in the Walrus talks about the financial decline of Canada’s economic hub. Though Toronto remains a vibrant, diverse and exciting place to live, poor economic and structural decision making have left the city with a crumbling infrastructure, service cuts, and traffic congestion that is creating frustration for everyone. With the current Mayor’s decision READ MORE
A new report by the National Council of Welfare, a government advisory committee “uses hard numbers to link poverty to the cost of productivity, health care and the justice system.”The report finds that a long term investment in preventing poverty would save taxpayers billions in dollars. For example, providing a shelter bed for someone who READ MORE
144 Manitoba municipalities have passed a resolution urging provincial parties to commit to a 1% tax provincial sales tax transfer to municipalities. The call for investment is an urgent one as infrastructure, from roads to the provision of safe drinking water, is at risk. Providing these funds will likely produce a boon to the economy. READ MORE
Multi-billionaire US investor Warren Buffet says that that wealthy people like himself are not paying their fair share of taxes and governments need to start collecting more revenue from the ‘super rich’. To read Buffet’s New York Times op-ed, titled “Stop Coddling the Super Rich”, click here
With all the talk of government debt recently — Toronto, $4.7 billion; Ontario, $240 billion; the U.S., $14.6 trillion — the spectacular figures and the concept of debt itself have become so abstract many people don’t even understand the conversation. The Toronto Star recently spoke with Dr. Enid Slack, director of the University of Toronto’s Institute on Municipal Finance READ MORE
So far, 91 Manitoba municipalities have passed resolutions calling on provincial political parties to commit, if elected, a portion of the tax revenue the Manitoba government collects in communities to repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in those communities. Read more in the Red River Valley Echo.
The public’s appetite for municipal cost cutting measured seems to be greatly overestimated. A recent poll by Leger marketing shows that 84% of those polled believe libraries should continue to be publicly funded. Transit, arenas and recreation centres, and street cleaning also had large numbers in favour of continued public funding. In fact, the only READ MORE
A new video from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) on the cost of poverty in BC. It turns out it costs more to allow poverty to continue than it does to implement solutions. Read the CCPA’s full report, “The Cost of Poverty in BC” here .
All public bodies in BC, including schools and hospitals are required to pay carbon offsets if they are not carbon neutral. These offsets are paid to the BC Crown Corporation the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT). On the PCT website are a number of projects that benefit private companies. Encana is just one of them. Encana READ MORE
The Globe and Mail has published an excellent article on Canada’s rising income gap and the its toll on families, communities and the economy as a whole. The OECD has warned that Canada faces runaway poverty if the income gap is not addressed through progressive taxation. Economists across the country are now suggesting that low READ MORE
The governing NDP in Manitoba is promising a 1% transfer of the PST to municipalities. This stable source of funding will provide municipalities an extra $33 million in next year’s budget. Some say it’s not enough. Read more at the CBC.
According to a recent study by the CCPA , Canada’s corporate taxes have lead to a $50% increase in profits for corporations, but sadly, created very few new jobs. Corporate taxes in 2009 were 20% lower than in 2000 and have lead to an annual loss of $12 billion to Canada’s general revenue. Read study here. READ MORE
The City of Calgary has just released a poll that shows the number of people who support an increase in property taxes to cover services has jumped from 48% in 2009 to 55% in 2010. The survey also showed that 94% of citizens thought the overall quality of services in Calgary is good. Read article READ MORE
On June 2, 2008 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities released findings from its latest study which looks at the impact of infrastructure spending on the economy and on government tax revenues. The study concludes that property taxes discourage consumer spending more than equivalent sales or income taxes and leads to the stifling of job creation. When the federal government cuts READ MORE
An opinion piece from the Toronto Star, written by Martin Connell, asks, “What could $1.1 billion do for Toronto?” The Conference Board of Canada says that Toronto needs to spend this much, above the current budget, in order to start ‘getting this city back on track’. Connell argues that this isn’t a huge sum of READ MORE
This report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives details problems with BC’s budgeting methodolgy, in particular the problems associated with huge “surprise” surpluses. The report contains a useful table showing healthcare, social services, and education expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Check it out here .