April 12, 2007
For immediate release
Government Approves an Increase in Municipal Equalization Funding
Community and Cultural Affairs
“I am pleased that our government has listened to the municipalities when they told us about their concerns about equalization,” said Minister MacFadyen. “Through the new budget, we will be increasing funding for municipal equalization by $300,000, an increase of over 26%, bringing total funding for equalization to $1,442,000.”
The equalization program was originally designed to provide a measure of support to those municipalities with limited tax capacities in relation to other municipalities, thereby allowing them to provide a comparable level of services.
This increase in funding will provide assistance to the smaller municipalities with the greatest need. Municipalities under the Comprehensive Urban Services Agreement (CUSA) will not receive any adjustment at this time, nor will those communities whose municipal tax assessment is above the provincial average.
The entire municipal support grant program remains under review and the Province continues to finalize details on how to move forward with equalization in the long term.
In the meantime, Minister MacFadyen assured the municipalities that the Province will continue to work with them to develop a long-term plan for equalization, recognizing that municipal councils are working hard to identify revenue sources to meet the financial challenges they face.