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IMFG Paper | 2019

The Role of Business Improvement Areas and Neighbourhood Associations in the City of Toronto

Toronto has more than 80 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and more than 150 neighbourhood associations (NAs) that claim to represent the interests of residents and businesses on matters ranging from the public realm to planning. This paper provides background and comprehensive data on the city’s BIAs and NAs, including their locations, functions, and correlations with other socioeconomic indicators, such as income. The paper concludes with options for City Council in reforming its governance model.
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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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Presentation | 2019

Steering Low-Carbon Growth in Emerging African Cities: Insights from Dar es Salaam

This presentation by Chibulu Luo, a 2018-19 IMFG Graduate Fellow, explores three key questions: What role do African cities and municipal governments play in producing low-carbon urban growth? Which institutions or governing bodies should take the lead, and why? And what are the opportunities to scale up investments to finance sustainable technologies and infrastructure?
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IMFG Paper | 2019

The Practice of Municipal Cooperation: Australian Perspectives and Comparisons with Canada

Municipal cooperation is an important feature of local and regional governance in both Australia and Canada. Many of the responsibilities of local governments cannot be addressed satisfactorily within the boundaries of a single municipality, whilst complex issues facing central governments often require complementary action at local and regional levels. This paper documents and evaluates the track record of Australian municipal cooperation within the context of the federal system, state legislation and policy, and the ongoing debate about the respective merits of joint service delivery and mergers.
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Book | 2019

Funding the Canadian City

This collection of papers by leading experts, emerging scholars, and policy makers in the field of municipal taxation and finance sets out the financial challenges facing municipalities in Canada today and examines various practical means of navigating these challenges.
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IMFG Paper | 2019

Mind the Funding Gap: Transit Financing in Los Angeles County and Metro Vancouver

Across North American cities, the demand for better public transit is pervasive, yet many local governments lack sufficient revenue to finance the construction of new infrastructure. To resolve this dilemma, some localities have turned to citizens directly, proposing temporary, earmarked, sales tax increases as a way to finance capital-intensive projects. Why have some communities been more receptive to this funding model than others? This study addresses this question by comparing the recent experiences of Los Angeles County (2008), where a ballot measure to raise money for transportation was successful and Metro Vancouver (2015), where a similar public vote was unsuccessful.
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