WHEREAS the Province of Alberta continues to enjoy growth and development rates exceeding the Canadian average;
WHEREAS all jurisdictions are placing a greater emphasis on sustainable development, smart growth, and triple bottom line analysis of proposed development;
WHEREAS new growth and development has a ‘causal’ effect on the need for additional, identifiable capital expenditures to expand the provision of core services such as recreational facilities, fire halls and libraries;
WHEREAS local jurisdictions have a limited scope of ‘own source’ revenues and continue to fund the provision of essential services largely through their tax base unless they have a private agreement with a local branch of the Urban Development Institute and/or individual developers;
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta and local municipalities both benefit from orderly and well planned growth coordinated with capital costs of public services resourced through a fair and equitable funding program mechanism that assigns a defined portion of these costs to the development industry;
WHEREAS both the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties and the Alberta Urban Municipalities have passed resolutions calling upon the provincial government to amend Section 648 of the Municipal Government Act beyond the current provisions for assessment and payment of levies for supplying of water, sanitary sewage, storm sewage, and roads (i.e.Resolution 6-07F, and 2008.C.ii.3, respectively);
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties renew their request that the Government of Alberta amend Section 648 (2) of the Municipal Government Act to grant local municipalities the authority to apply, and collect, off-site levies to pay for all or part of the capital costs of new or expanded facilities for fire halls, recreation facilities and libraries that are required as a result of ongoing growth and development.
See AAMDC expired Resolution 6-07F entitled “Advocating for Legislative Enactment of Expanded Municipal Authority to Access Revenues” available at www.aamdc.com. As well, see AUMA resolution 2008.C.ii.3 entitled “Authorizing Off-Site Levy to Provide Essential Services and Build Complete Communities” available at www.auma.ca.
The AAMDC has included expanded authority regarding off-site levies as part of its paper MGA Review: Final Planning and Development Recommendations. While the AAMDC does not have any active resolutions related to this issue, a similar theme was included in a recently expired resolution.
Resolution 6-07F (expired): THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Province of Alberta to advocate Legislative Enactment of Expanded Municipal Authority to access revenues as per the following:
THAT enabling legislation be passed to enact authority for Alberta Municipalities to levy an expanded scope of development levies in support of directly related local services and to assess limited split mill rates within the non-residential property class at the next sitting of the Provincial Legislative Assembly in the best interests of municipalities, the Province and taxpayers of Alberta.
The proposed resolution to amend Section 648(2) of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to expand the scope of off-site levies to pay for capital costs of other facilities represents a significant change in government policy. In view of the potential impact on a variety of stakeholders, possible links to other parts of the legislation, and the Minister’s commitment to a comprehensive review of the MGA, it is recommended that this discussion be included in the broader MGA review.
The AAMDC will be an important stakeholder involved during these consultations.
While the Government of Alberta has responded that they will take the issue into consideration and that a review will take place, they do not give any indication of its favorability. Municipal Affairs began work on this issue through the Development Symposium held in September 2012 and leading the work of the subsequent working committee responsible for developing recommendations. A short-term solution is unlikely as the work of the committee will likely roll into the MGA review. The AAMDC will continue to advocate this position as the review moves forward.