Search Results for: Perspectives Paper

Perspectives Paper | 2019

The Right Tax for the Job: The Role of Property Taxes in Funding Cities

The property tax generates a significant proportion of municipal revenues in Canada and has done so since Confederation. This paper makes the case that the property tax is a good tax for funding local (especially general-purpose) governments for several reasons: the base of the tax is immovable; the tax can generate reliable and sufficient revenues and make local governments independent from other orders of government; many of the core goods and services provided by local governments directly benefit property owners; the tax is visible to property owners; and the tax is easy to administer.
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Perspectives Paper | 2018

A Check-up on Toronto’s Fiscal Health, 2018

Before the last municipal election in 2014, IMFG issued a Perspectives Paper on Toronto’s Fiscal Health (Is Toronto Fiscally Healthy? A Check-up on the City’s Finances by Enid Slack and André Côté). In that paper, we undertook an assessment of the state of the City’s finances in four areas: spending and services; taxes and revenues; debt and savings; and infrastructure.
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Perspectives Paper | 2018

Bold Election Ideas for the Toronto Region

Elections are a time to assess what has happened in our community since the last election and ask questions – often uncomfortable questions – about the places we live and the environment we are creating for those who live here. In the lead-up to the 2018 Ontario municipal election, the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance has commissioned a series of short pre-election papers to add to the dialogue and tap into the ideas of some of the GTHA’s most respected leaders. As you read these short papers, you will see that we have covered a wide range of themes – transportation, housing, homelessness, youth, neighbourhoods, Indigenous peoples, mental health, decent work, policing, universities, arts and culture, and regional and local governance.
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Perspectives Paper | 2017

The potential and consequences of municipal electoral reform

Following pressure from some sectors of civil society, the Province of Ontario passed a law in 2016 allowing municipalities to use ranked ballots to elect mayors and councillors. This change in provincial regulation, and the dialogue and debate that led to the policy change, raise important questions about the nature of municipal electoral systems in Canada.
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Perspectives Paper | 2017

How Much Local Fiscal Autonomy Do Cities Have? A Comparison of Eight Cities around the World

Local fiscal autonomy is the extent to which local governments rely on locally raised revenues for funding and their ability to set their own tax rates. A comparison of Toronto, London (UK), Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Madrid, Tokyo, and New York reveals that Toronto is less dependent on intergovernmental transfers than many other major cities but, with the exception of London, it has fewer tax options.
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Perspectives Paper | 2017

Cities as Prudent Investors: New Rules for Investment by Ontario Municipalities

Financial investments are an important part of the fiscal tools available to Canadian municipalities. A well-executed investment strategy can provide a source of income to municipalities, helping them prepare for future budgetary pressures and revenue fluctuations. This paper describes how the current municipal investment regime in Ontario works and its future direction and challenges.
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