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Are you tired of municipalities’ excessive overspending?

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You’ve told us you’re fed up with unsustainable municipal spending that often translates into property tax hikes. You work hard to live within your means and expect your municipality to do the same.

We share your frustration and that’s why we shine a light on spending levels of Manitoba’s 26 largest municipalities.

The third edition of our report, Manitoba Municipal Spending Watch, finds the province’s largest municipalities continue to spend far more than needed on day-to-day operating spending.

Some key findings include:

  • Operating spending growing faster than population growth: From 2008 to 2014, operating spending grew over three times faster than sustainable levels (spending growth benchmark of inflation and population growth). Inflation-adjusted operating spending grew by 26% over seven years, while population increased by just 8% (over three times faster than sustainable levels).
  • Overspending is costly to you: Overspending amounted to $848 million over the seven-year period, the equivalent of $3,500 for a family of four, or $875 per resident.
  • Labour costs drive spending increase: From 2008-2014, labour costs increased 25%, and accounted for 57% of total municipal operating spending in 2014. A major contributor to the spending growth is labour costs for Protective Services, which saw a 34% increase over the period while making up almost half of total labour costs.

Real operating spending and population growth, 2008-14

Next steps
We will continue to push municipal leaders to spend sustainably and ensure they use taxpayers’ money as efficiently as possible.