Monday, November 30, 2009

Good Advice For Municipal Politicians

The following item appears on the Canadian Taxpayer Federation's website and contains some excellent advice for local city council who say they are struggling to keep taxes down.

Beggar's Checklist

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation provided provincial and federal governments with a new tool to help them rebuff requests from municipal politicians for new taxing powers and more funding.

The new report - "The Beggars Checklist: A To Do List For Municipalities" - documents dozens of initiatives that municipalities could be pursuing right now that would reduce costs and raise revenues legitimately.

The CTF recommends provincial and federal politicians pull out the checklist and make sure municipal politicians have pursued each initiative before begging for new taxing power or cash.

Instead of trying to find new ways to pick the pockets of taxpayers to fund their spending sprees, municipalities must look at best practices from other municipalities to fund the services the community values.

Before municipal governments get any money from other levels of government, those governments must ask:

"Has your municipality..."

1) Brought staff salaries in-line with the private sector?
2) Contracted out services wherever possible?
3) Utilized public private partnerships for capital projects?
4) Sold surplus land and assets?
5) Converted services to user fees?
6) Sought volunteers for the delivery of city services?
7) Refocused activities on core services?
8) Raised revenues for services through sponsorship activities?
9) Partnered with other governments for service delivery?
10) Utilized new technology to reduce costs?

Taxpayers are tapped out and cannot be expected to fund politically motivated spending wish lists any longer.

When municipal politicians get together they should be sharing best practices and looking for innovation ideas, not plotting out strategies to get new taxing powers.


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