In Manitoba, small business owners are concerned that municipal governments are not doing enough to rein in operating spending, which leads to a combination of higher taxes and lower infrastructure spending.
CFIB’s Manitoba Municipal Spending Watch 4th Edition report studies real operating spending increases between 2008 and 2015 for 27 of Manitoba’s largest municipalities. Increases in operating spending are measured against a sustainability benchmark which allows for inflation and population growth.
The report finds that while progress was made in 2015 to rein in spending, the majority of Manitoba`s largest municipalities continue to spend far more than needed on day-to-day operating spending. From 2008 to 2015, real operating spending increased by 23 per cent, while the population grew by just 9 per cent. This overspending has cost Manitobans $1.17 billion cumulatively from 2008 to 2015.
Given these findings, the report recommends that Manitoba’s municipalities must take steps to limit annual spending growth the no more than the rate of inflation and population growth.