The property tax base is inadequate and flawed as the major source of funding for municipal services. Because property taxes are not related to income, they are regressive, placing a heavier burden on those with lower and middle incomes.
We need to broaden the sources of revenue available to local governments so they have the ability to support and invest in the broad range of public services our communities need. Local governments should receive a share of income tax revenue collected by the federal and provincial governments. Other taxes such as the gasoline tax should be shared to fund infrastructure and road improvements.
They also need a large injection of capital funds to rebuild our social and physical infrastructure. Our pension plans and the Canada/Quebec pension plan should be used to reinvest in public services and public infrastructure by:
- holding more municipal and provincial bonds;
- supporting economically targeted investments such as housing and long-term care facilities;
- targeting the CPP reserve fund to be invested in infrastructure projects (retrofitting and new facilities), as it was until 1998.