Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) has fired back at a new report that says Canadian municipalities are overspending and take in more tax revenue than they claim.
A report released Monday by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ claim that municipalities receive just eight cents of every tax dollar collected in Canada doesn’t take federal and provincial transfers into account, and that the actual figure is 15 cents of every tax dollar.
The report said municipalities have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
“It’s one thing to ask for more money if it’s needed and another to spend like it’s going out of style, and then cry poor,” reads the report.
Churence Rogers, president of MNL, issued a statement Tuesday calling the CFIB report “antagonistic” and “insulting.”
“With hundreds of towns understaffed, living with unsafe drinking water and unable to maintain roads, clearly overspending is not the problem. The problem is lack of revenue,” reads the statement. The statement adds that the business federation is “misguided” on municipal transfers. “Transfers from the province are largely project-driven and not predicable revenue. Property tax is the main source of municipal revenue, and as a regressive tax, it burdens lower-income homeowners and most-vulnerable members of society.”
Municipal operating grants have declined more than 50 per cent since the early 1990s, said the statement, and councils have had to make up the difference by increasing property taxes, cutting services or both.