Budget 2012 brings some good news for municipalities
April 24th, 2012
St. John’s, NL (April 24, 2012) – Budget 2012 addresses some of the concerns of Newfoundland and Labrador municipalities but leaves the issue of tax fairness unresolved. Municipalities are still the only order of government paying taxes to another order of government.
Minister O’Brien announced that in the short-term his department would maintain the current level of Municipal Operating Grants (MOGs) at $22.4 million. The Department will consult with MNL on a new MOG formula, which will be ready in November for inclusion in the 2013 budget. Mayor Churence Rogers, MNL President says “This review is just the first step in a larger consultation towards the development of a broader fiscal framework for the sector. MNL has been vocal about the need for sustainable, predictable revenue for municipalities, and our hope is that these consultations will deliver on that goal."
Additional MNL requests delivered in this budget include; the reinstatement of the Multi-Year Capital Works Program, which allows municipalities to better plan their infrastructure investments, and the continuation of cost sharing ratios, which better allow municipalities to afford essential infrastructure.
Rogers says a key disappointment for the sector is with the Department of Finance, which didn’t address the sector’s serious concerns about tax fairness and a Harmonized Sales Tax rebate. "The inequality of governments taxing governments is a discussion I look forward to having with Minister Marshall. We believe this is a reasonable and affordable way for the provincial government to support municipalities while an improved fiscal framework is being designed."
The MNL Board looks forward to working collaboratively with all orders of government to identify municipal priorities and working together to improve the lives of citizens in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
Municipalities Newfoundland & Labrador was formed in 1951 as an umbrella organization mandated to represent municipal government interests, and as a vehicle for municipal leaders to share information and resources. MNL represents the 276 cities and towns in Newfoundland and Labrador that service 89 per cent of the population and their more than 2,000 leaders.