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Province’s Municipal Legislation will Increase Costs for Albertans
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 - 9:15am
A new report released by the Manning Centre today concludes the Alberta government’s new 123-page Modernized Municipal Government Act (MMGA) will lead to higher taxes, fees and housing prices for Albertans.
In Modernizing Alberta’s Municipal Governance, public policy analyst Dan Osborne carefully examines the objectives for tabling the legislation, expected outcomes if the bill is passed and alternative policy solutions from other jurisdictions.
“If the Alberta government passes its Modernized Municipal Governance Act, taxpayers can expect to see higher taxes, fees and housing costs,” said Dan Osborne, the author of the report. “If the Alberta government wants to save Albertans money, it could consider some of the less costly policy solutions we’ve outlined from other jurisdictions.”
In particular, Osborne’s report notes that Albertans will see higher taxes and costs due to the following aspects of the legislation:
Inclusionary Zoning – This policy requires developers to set aside a percentage of new developments for affordable housing. In jurisdictions outside of Alberta, this policy has led to developers making up for lower earnings from affordable housing units by simply raising the cost of other properties.
Water Shortage – The government has indicated there is a water shortage in both Calgary and Edmonton. However, data shows there’s a sufficient amount of water in the areas, the problem is the provincial government has poorly allocated access to the resource.
Conservation Reserves – Despite large swaths of land available for development around both Calgary and Edmonton, the provincial government wants to create “Conservation Reserves;” sections of land that cannot be developed. By restricting access to the supply of land, costs will go up for consumers.
Infrastructure – The government has rightly noted that municipal infrastructure for new developments are a costly expenditure. However, the proposed solution – requiring developers to pay the full cost of such infrastructure up front – is ill advised as the policy would raise the cost of housing for consumers. Instead, municipal governments could be encouraged to spread out the cost of such expenses over several years.
To download the report – click here