On February 27, the provincial government will release its budget for the 2020 fiscal year. As usual, AUMA will release a report with our analysis of how the provincial budget will impact municipalities. Following the success of our previous Budget 2019 webinar, we will again host a webinar for municipalities. Hear our perspectives about the budget, ask questions, and raise issues about funding and finances that we need to consider in our future advocacy.
The webinar will be held on Friday, February 28 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. This exclusive webinar for municipalities has a limited number of spots, so please register now!
AUMA requests meeting about Budget 2020 priorities
Based on the feedback from our President’s Summit in January, we sent a letter and submission to the Premier copying the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Treasury Board and Finance. In it, we requested a renewed partnership based on a common goal of getting Alberta back to work through strategic coordinated investments. We also requested a meeting to discuss the following items pertaining to the upcoming budget:
- Municipal governments have engaged their businesses, citizens, and staff to find efficiencies and alternative revenue sources to adjust to funding cutbacks and program changes introduced in the provincial budget last fall. They cannot absorb any further cutbacks or additional costs without significantly increasing taxes or cutting back essential services.
- Now is the time to invest in maintaining Alberta’s infrastructure. Prices are relatively low and Alberta’s private construction firms are struggling to hang on through this extended downturn. Planned reductions to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) must be revisited and a strategy developed to ensure that stranded federal infrastructure funding starts flowing back to Alberta communities. Reducing government investment in infrastructure at this time is crippling our construction industries, its workers and apprenticeship programs.
- The 2019-20 Fiscal Plan identified that the education tax requisition will be increasing by approximately four percent starting in 2020-21. This imposition to property tax ratepayers is planned at the same time as provincial education spending is being frozen. This planned, year-over-year increase is unacceptable to municipalities and ratepayers.
AUMA is keen to see the acknowledgment of these items reflected in the 2020 Budget. We look forward to following up with our members on these topics and more during our webinar.