Langley City Election 2018 - October 20th

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Local governments responsible for 60% of infrastructure, but receive smallest share of revenue in BC

The provincial Ministry of Community, Sport, & Cultural Development recently released financial statistics about local governments in our province. These statistics are for 2015. Local governments in BC include both regional districts and municipalities.

Local governments provide critical services to people, and you can see some of those services by looking at an infographic that I created a few years ago. Local governments are also responsible for about 60% of all infrastructure in Canada, but only receive a fraction of taxation revenue.

In 2015-16 the BC provincial government received $47 billion in revenue which included $7.6 billion in federal government contributions. The province had $46 billion in expenses, and $65 billion in long-term debt.

In 2015, local governments in BC received $11 billion in revenue which included $84 million in federal government contributions, and $451 million in provincial government contributions. Local governments had $8.9 billion in expenses, and $4.2 billion in long-term debt.

Metro Vancouver with a population of 2.51 million was home to 54% of British Columbians in 2015. Local governments in Metro Vancouver received $5.5 billion in revenue which included $13.4 million in federal government contributions, and $131.9 million in provincial government contributions. Metro Vancouver local governments collected around 50% of the total revenue collected by all local governments in BC. Our region only received 15% of federal contributions and 30% of provincial government contributions. I should point out that in Metro Vancouver the federal government contributes around $123 million a year to TransLink via the Federal Gas Tax Fund.

When it comes to expenses, local governments in Metro Vancouver were responsible for $4.9 billion or 55% of all local government expenses in the province. Metro Vancouver local governments also held $2.4 billion or 57% of the total local government long-term debt in BC. The City of Vancouver was responsible for $988 million (41%) of that long-term debt though only has 25% of Metro Vancouver's population. With the exception of the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver local governments carry a smaller overall debt than the rest of the province's local governments.

Throughout BC, local governments receive about a quarter of the revenue of the provincial government, but have a large amount of infrastructure to maintain, and services to provide. Local government also have a smaller overall debt both in real dollars, and as a percentage of revenue. Outside of Metro Vancouver, local governments get more direct funding contributions from the federal and provincial governments thought Metro Vancouver is unique as transit is provided by TransLink, and not as a partnership between local governments and the province.

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