The federal House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) launched its pre-Budget Consultations in advance of the 2018 federal Budget in June, and AUMA submitted a detailed list of recommendations for consideration. The theme of the federal Budget consultations this year is “productivity and competitiveness”, which is important given the tough economic challenges Canada is facing as a country, and the pressing need for economic action in Alberta given our struggling natural resource economy.
AUMA stressed the need to move forward with fair and equitable infrastructure federal-provincial-municipal funding agreements that reflect the ability of each order of government to pay, and the importance of adopting a more predictable and outcomes-based approach to funding. As well, AUMA highlighted key priority funding areas such as disaster mitigation, broadband internet, RCMP, and increased costs relating to the legalization of cannabis.
Another specific recommendation was made to restore tax exemptions for non-accountable expense allowances paid to municipal elected officials, as the removal of this exemption may stress municipal budgets and lead to property tax increases necessary to ensure that salaries do not drop.
AUMA’s submission to the pre-Budget consultations is just one piece of ongoing advocacy to promote investments in municipalities. Given the continued infrastructure deficit and need for fiscal certainty, AUMA will continue to push for predictable and adequate funding from both the federal and provincial governments to ensure the sustainability and prosperity of our communities.