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TAKING BACK OUR COMMUNITIES Gord Hume. How do we build 21 st century towns and cities with a 17 th century tax system and a 19 th century governance model???. Canadian Municipalities are becoming the most important order of government…. “Taking Back Our Cities”

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Taking back our communities gord hume
How do we build 21st century towns and cities with a 17th century tax system and a 19thcentury governance model???



Taking back our communities gord hume

“Taking Back Our Cities” order of government…

Key federal/provincial interviews:

Prime Minister Paul Martin*

Premier Ralph Klein*

Premier Gordon Campbell*

Minister Glen Murray

Municipal Affairs Deputy Minister Michael Fenn*

*(former)


Taking back our communities gord hume

Leading Canadian Mayors: order of government…

Mike Bradley, Sarnia, Ontario

Pat Fiacco, Regina, Saskatchewan

Peter Kelly, Halifax RM, Nova Scotia

Naheed Nenshi, Calgary, Alberta

Gerald Tremblay, Montreal, Quebec

Dianne Watts, Surrey, British Columbia

Carl Zehr, Kitchener, Ontario


Experienced municipal leaders
Experienced Municipal Leaders: order of government…

  • Larry Beasley, Vancouver BC planner*

  • Tim Dobbie, Burlington Ont city manager*

  • Jeff Fielding, CAO, London, Ontario*

  • Darren Ottaway, CAO, Grande Cache, AB

  • Judy Rogers, City Manager, Vancouver BC*

    *(former)


What do municipal leaders think about provincial relations
What do municipal leaders think about provincial relations? order of government…

  • “Paternal, patronizing,

    phony…”

    Mayor Mike Bradley

  • “…Costs to municipalities rise…”

    Mayor Carl Zehr


Too slow too little too late
“too slow, too little, too late” order of government…

  • Downloading

  • Changing the rules

  • Downloading program management

  • Changing the funding formula

    5. Bland indifference to local issues

    6. Lack of communication, consultation



Taking back our communities gord hume

“Do municipal politicians want more money from a senior order of government, or do they want the power of new taxation to raise more money and be held accountable?”


Montreal pq
Montreal, PQ order of government, or do they want the power of new taxation to raise more money and be held accountable?”

Montreal said OUI to new tax opportunities…


Quebec city pq
Quebec City, PQ order of government, or do they want the power of new taxation to raise more money and be held accountable?”

Said NON to new tax opportunities…


Toronto ontario
Toronto, Ontario order of government, or do they want the power of new taxation to raise more money and be held accountable?”

Toronto said YES to new tax opportunities, then reversed itself on one new tax and is wavering on the other…potential lost revenue? A quarter of a billion dollars annually…


Saskatchewan pst
Saskatchewan PST order of government, or do they want the power of new taxation to raise more money and be held accountable?”

  • Saskatchewan now shares 1% of its PST with its municipalities!


Manitoba survey
Manitoba survey order of government, or do they want the power of new taxation to raise more money and be held accountable?”

  • 64% of residents supported a new one cent Sales Tax going to community infrastructure

  • 90% agreed communities need help

    Source: Association of Manitoba Municipalities


Taking back our communities gord hume

Canada’s Property Tax system is broken and it can’t be fixed:

  • Regressive tax

  • Assessment is confusing

  • Doesn’t tax productive economic values


Property taxes
Property Taxes fixed:

  • “…regressive, feudal and medieval…”

    • Naheed Nenshi, Calgary

  • “…need predictable, sustainable funding that does not rely on property taxes…”

    • Carl Zehr, Kitchener


  • Canada s infrastructure deficit
    CANADA’S INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT: fixed:

    • FCM (2007) $123 Billion

    • 2012 guesstimates $200-300 B

    • National electrical grid $300 B

    • Federal infrastructure ???

    • Provincial infrastructure ???

    • Updating technology ???

    • Rural improvements ???


    Northern ontario
    Northern Ontario: fixed:

    • Limited/non-existent traditional municipal revenue opportunities:

      • No parking meters, fines

      • No Development Charges

      • Very low fees for business permits, etc

      • Lack of tourism revenues

      • No access to resource royalties

      • Limited revenue opportunities


    Taking back our communities gord hume

    A few communities may still have a spending problem, but all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!


    Main council priorities
    Main Council Priorities: all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!

    • Community prosperity--wealth generation

    • Build and re-shape the community

    • Deliver quality public services at an affordable price


    Taking back our communities gord hume

    QUIDNUNCS all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!


    The crink economy
    The CRINK Economy: all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!

    • CReative

    • INnovative

    • Knowledge-based


    Northern economic focus
    Northern Economic focus: all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!

    • Mining/natural resources

    • Forestry

    • Renewable energy/green technologies

    • Arts, culture, tourism…

    • Digital economy

    • Food/agriculture/aquaculture…

    • Transportation…


    Rural communities
    Rural Communities all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!

    • Small towns under great stress

    • Young people leaving rural for urban life

    • Rural economies are in difficulty

    • Natural resource extraction/economy is a roller-coaster

    • Health/lifestyle

    • Local services, businesses disappearing

    • Family farms in jeopardy


    Northern ontario issues
    Northern Ontario issues all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!

    • Housing—temporary, family, seniors…

    • Planning and servicing issues

    • Financing new subdivisions

    • Drugs

    • Social problems

    • Rising policing costs

    • Downtowns and retail services

    • Staffing new mines and ripples locally…


    Sharing royalties
    SHARING ROYALTIES all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!

    • Shocking that Northern Ontario municipalities get the costs and problems of community development, but none of the financial resources


    Local leadership
    Local Leadership all Ontario communities have a revenue problem!

    • Diversify the local economy

    • Build an appealing community

    • Attract bright minds

    • Support entrepreneurial spirit

    • Creative, fun, good social experiences

    • Offer a great quality of life

    • Safe, healthy, sustainable community


    Taking back our communities gord hume

    Can you build your community with your existing revenue and tax base???

    When do you start doing less with less?


    Building vibrant communities
    Building Vibrant Communities tax base???

    • Heritage assets

    • Strong, attractive downtown

    • Appealing gateways and neighbourhoods

    • Support local arts, culture, creative…

    • Active social opportunities

    • Public gathering places

    • Festivals and events

    • Distinctive community identity


    On our own
    ON OUR OWN… tax base???

    • 2012-13 federal budget pretty much ignored municipalities

    • 2012-13 Ontario budget had some but not much good news for towns and cities

    • 2012 Drummond Commission recommends stiff financial restraint for next five years


    Searching for solutions
    Searching for Solutions: tax base???

    1. Get to the table—who does what?

    2. Infrastructure deficit—our crumbling towns and cities

    3. Change the tax structure


    London ontario
    London, Ontario tax base???

    2010 tax levy $456 M

    1% of Ontario HST $83 M

    (per capita)

    1% of Income Tax $19 M

    (paid by Londoners) ________

    New non-property tax revenue = $102M

    Could reduce local property taxes 15-20%


    Municipalities need to
    Municipalities need to… tax base???

    • Invest in infrastructure

    • Develop new non-property tax revenue

    • Invest in human capital

    • Improve relations with other governments

    • Change the system

    • Get smarter—use knowledge/technology

    • Become more assertive