Question: What will you do to improve the large cities' financial capacity and sustainability, including providing more flexible means to finance the range of services and infrastructure that the cities now provide?
What are your plans for long-range, sustainable, predictable capital funding for the large cities?
Specifically, what sources of revenue are you willing to share with Calgary and Edmonton?
What are your plans for the education portion of the property tax?
What are your thoughts on the future of existing infrastructure programs, including the MSI?
Answer: The Wildrose 10-10 plan was released in our Commitment to Municipalities before the election campaign began. That plan is to allocate 10% of all taxes (income, corporate, education, and ‘other’) and 10% of cash surpluses to municipalities without any strings attached. This would have translated into a small increase in funding this year (compared to the municipal infrastructure grants in Budget 2012), on top of the savings to municipalities of eliminating all the administration they pour into dealing with provincial bureaucrats. As we make this transition, Wildrose has committed that we will honour all existing agreements under grants like MSI and Green TRIP so that no municipality loses funding.
Our Balanced Budget and Savings Pledge will lay the groundwork for growing surpluses in the short term; combined with rising income taxes this will ensure that municipal funding increases along with Alberta’s economy. It also means that municipal leaders won’t need to curry favour with government ministers and align their ideas with the latest trendy notions among bureaucrats. Wildrose trusts local communities to know what their short and long term priorities are, and with this formula will give them the autonomy to carry through in meeting them.
Wildrose official website - www.wildrose.ca/