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Unsustainable municipal spending chokes business communities

It’s time to get serious about spending.


The fact is: B.C. municipal operating spending has outpaced population growth nearly fourfold between 2005 and 2015. This means that local governments are spending faster than cities are growing. To support these spending habits, municipal governments are having you foot the bill. 


In a recent survey, we found that 73% of our members believe in keeping municipal spending on par with inflation and population growth. We know that business owners like you are the backbone of our economy - but you’re also the ones taking the hardest hit from municipal spending increases. 


Our lobbying team meets with local government across B.C. regularly to deliver your voice. We present data highlighting historical operating spending for each municipality. This helps showcase the reality of unsustainable spending growth and strengthens our message. 


Are you getting value for your tax dollars?

Between 2005 and 2015 in B.C., local operating spending has outpaced population growth plus inflation nearly fourfold. But the question remains: are small businesses receiving more or better services from increased spending? 


We asked for your help to answer this question. Here’s what you said:  

CFIB B.C. Municipal Issues Survey, November 2017. N=789


To clarify, 79% of you feel that in the last three years, your value-for-money received in terms of services and taxes/fees paid has worsened. This simply cannot continue, which is why we continue to prioritize municipal spending as an issue and emphasize that municipalities should keep operating spending increases to no more than population plus inflation. 


New 2017 Municipal Spending Report

In effort to provide you with the most relevant information, we release annual reports on municipal operating spending. Our 2017 report highlights municipal spending between 2005 and 2015. Each municipality is given a ranking based on a weighted calculation of both short and long term spending.  


With fiscal responsibility in mind, we made several recommendations in our report for municipalities to follow. Our recommendations for municipal governments include:


  • Limiting increases in operating spending to no more than inflation and population growth
  • Introducing annual zero-based budgeting
  • Limiting wage and benefit increases until public and private sector compensation levels are aligned


For a full list of our recommendations, or to see your municipalities rank, you can read our full report.

October 25, 2017

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