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Vancouver city hall spending too much says Fraser Institute

10/21/2014 03:50 EDT | Updated 12/21/2014 05:59 EST
The Fraser Institute has released a new report criticizing Metro Vancouver municipalities for their spending — singling out the City of Vancouver for spending almost 80 per cent more per citizen than Surrey.

The study examined spending by municipalities between 2002 and 2012 and found all 17 municipalities in Metro Vancouver increased spending to a level the Fraser Institute believes is well beyond the rate needed to accommodate for inflation and population growth.

The study found that in 2012, West Vancouver spent the most at $2,118 per citizen, followed by New Westminster, Vancouver and Delta.

Surrey spent the least at $951, according to the study.

The Fraser Institute is most critical of Burnaby and Vancouver for relying on businesses for much of their tax revenue.

It says in 2012 Burnaby took the largest percentage of property tax revenue from businesses of all local municipalities at 52 per cent, and Vancouver was above the average at more than 45 per cent.

Charles Lammam, associate director of tax and fiscal policy at the Fraser Institute, suggests municipalities should reconsider the proportion of tax they collect from businesses, in order to remain competitive.

"Municipalities risk scaring off entrepreneurs and business people who consider property taxes when making decisions about whether to continue operations, whether to expand, or whether to start a business in the first place," Lammam said in a statement.

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