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Municipalities seek more funding options

Financial tools, resort development major issues at UBCM

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• A recommendation to allocate police resources based on average annual populations rather than census number because of the population fluctuations that occur in some areas due to high numbers of seasonal visitors.

• Encouraging the prompt implementation of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ ‘New Deal’ plan, which gives full GST rebates to local governments while allowing them to share in a portion of gas taxes, as well as levy their own additional fuel taxes.

• Resolving to amend the Community Charter to allow municipalities more freedom in generating alternative sources of revenue, including fuel taxes to pay for infrastructure and liquor taxes to pay for health programs and services.

• Recommending that the province give municipalities a share of property transfer taxes to be used for affordable housing.

• A plan to index homeowner grants by setting a value limit each year that a property can increase in assessed value, based on provincial averages rather than market pricing.

• A provincial program to streamline the application process for municipalities to perform flood control by removing gravel, sand and silt from waterways. There was also a recommendation to create a flood protection infrastructure fund.

• Raising the age of consent for minors to 16 from 14 to protect them from sexual exploitation.

• Lobbying the provincial government to provide more funding for highway rescue equipment and for rescue workers who step outside their jurisdictions.

• Lobbying the provincial government to restore funding for brushing and mowing highway rights of way.

• Applying for tax refunds for municipal energy projects that encourage conservation or alternative, green sources of energy – to be funded by provincial and federal energy sales tax revenues.

• A program to reimburse locally funded fire services for the resources they spend performing emergency medical services, which fall under provincial jurisdiction.

• Restoring funding to regional health authorities to 2003-04 levels.

• Encouraging the federal government to provide more funding for affordable housing, with an emphasis on the needs of low-income Canadians, seniors, families and people with disabilities.

• Petition the government to give a high priority to the treaty process with First Nations.

• Encourage the government to complete the B.C. Rail sale to CN Rail as soon as possible, allowing municipalities to benefit from more taxes and passenger rail tourism. • Providing income tax deductions for emergency services volunteers who perform a minimum of 100 hours of service in a year.

• Altering property tax rates to increase assessments for "monster homes" and estates in rural areas, while providing tax breaks to people living in higher density developments.