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Saturday, 23rd December 2006

A State of Disrepair: How to Fix the Financing of Municipal Infrastructure in Canada

A State of Disrepair: How to Fix the Financing of Municipal Infrastructure in Canada (PDF; 202 KB)
Source: C.D. Howe Institute

The underlying principle of benefits received is straightforward: those who benefit from local infrastructure and the services it provides should pay for it. Other recommendations for policymakers and city managers: use multi-year capital budgets and dedicated fund accounts to plan longer-term projects. Municipalities should also take advantage of innovative approaches to infrastructure finance, such as a dedicated municipal fuel tax, parking lot taxes and private-public partnerships.
...
While the discussion in this paper is constructively critical of the current practices for financing much of our local infrastructure, dramatic improvements are possible. Among them, moving to a benefits-based model, where feasible, is particularly important, because it satisfies five key principles: economic (allocative) efficiency; accountability; transparency; fairness; and ease of
administration. Such improvements may prove central to repairing the ability of cities to deliver the services and quality of life their citizens expect and deserve.


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