Why is Revenue Sharing Important?
Usually, local governments access cost-shared provincial and federal grant programs to help meet their infrastructure needs. Infrastructure spending by both levels of government has been significant since the 2009 recession, but the Northwest infrastructure deficit has not been reduced. Local governments estimate that current infrastructure needs total $600 million. Local governments are responsible for providing services that are crucial for the sustainability and livability of their communities, including:
Land use planning, parks and recreation programming, police and first responders, social welfare programs, and many other important services
Development and maintenance of local infrastructure like roads, airports, public buildings, recreational and other facilities as well as sewer and water systems
Fostering the economic, social and environmental well-being of their communities
Development imposes significant costs on local governments but usually does not increase revenues or distribute them proportionately. As a result, local taxpayers face higher property taxes and levels of service and quality of infrastructure deteriorate.
Revenue sharing would provide local government with the resources we need to properly address the infrastructure and service gaps in our communities and create a legacy for our children. A revenue sharing agreement would make the Northwest more livable and sustainable, creating a vibrant local economy to complement and diversify the region’s resource base.
We are committed to a regional revenue sharing arrangement that would:
- Ensure negotiations begin no later than September 9, 2017
- Provide a share of the provincial revenue generated over the past five years to give local governments the capacity to prepare for future development and deal with the most urgent infrastructure needs
- Provide a proportionate share of ongoing revenues to offset ongoing service and infrastructure costs associated with future projects
- Leave the region better off through significant legacy resources
- Enable local governments to determine how contributions under the agreement will be distributed.