Vanderhoof third in B.C. for municipal spending: CFIB

Vanderhoof placed third out of 29 northern B.C. communities for its annual municipal spending, states a CFIB report.

Vanderhoof placed third out of 29 northern B.C. communities for its annual municipal spending, according to a report released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business earlier this month.

Ranking B.C.’s 152 municipalities based on their inflation-adjusted operating spending growth from 2003 to 2013 and their most recent spending levels per capita in 2013, CFIB’s eighth edition of the BC Municipal Spending Watch shows that 96 per cent of the province’s 152 municipalities increased their operating expenses at an unsustainable pace since 2003.

With only Port Clements in Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert are placed ahead of Vanderhoof in the rankings for northern B.C., it’s good news for Vanderhoof, Mayor Thiessen said.

“The two communities don’t have snow to address.”

The report states that local northen B.C. governments have on average the highest operating cost per capita, in comparison with other regions in the province.

With the highest operating spending growth per capita as well from 2003 to 2013, the region also has 18 out of 29 of its municipalities undergoing a population decrease during that time period.

Overall in the province, Stewart in northwest B.C., with a population of 494 as of 2011, is ranked as the worst performer.

Coldstream in the Okanagan Valley, with a population of 10,314 as of 2011, was placed first.

None of the provinces’ largest cities — population of 25,000 and over — maintained spending levels at a sustainable rate, with West Vancouver and Langford performing the worst.

“Had municipalities kept their operating spending at the rate of inflation plus population growth over the past ten years, the BC family of four could have saved, on average, over $8,000 in municipal taxes,” said Richard Truscott, vice president of BC and Alberta.

The full report can be found on http://cfib.ca/a7815e.