Developing Edmonton’s Competitiveness

What is Prosperity Edmonton

Prosperity Edmonton is a group of associations representing various parts of the business community in Edmonton. Association members include restaurants, retail outlets, construction and manufacturing companies – in other words, the diverse mix of businesses who work every day in Edmonton. We are concerned about the ever-escalating set of costs imposed on the people and businesses of Edmonton, which in combination are making it more and more diicult for households and businesses to thrive, invest, and stay in Edmonton.

When continual property tax increases are layered over the many other tax and regulatory increases imposed by all three orders of government, the result is an environment which stifles investment, discourages job creators, and ultimately decreases opportunities and prosperity for the people of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. 

We urge Edmonton City Council, in its upcoming budget, to hold the line on spending and work harder to find efficiencies to fund new priorities rather than resorting to tax increases.

EDMONTON TAX GROWTH VS POPULATION AND INFLATION

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

01.

Do we have the right number of people to do the work well?

While Edmonton’s population has certainly increased, City employee growth has far surpassed it, fuelling burdensome tax increases.

02.

Are we paying workers fairly and appropriately?

Frontline City employees are important to Edmonton. However, the 2015 to 2018 collective agreement lead to a 9% increase in City employee wages over the past three years while wages across Alberta and with provincial employees stayed relatively flat. Across the whole economy, average weekly wage increases in Edmonton from June 2015 to June 2018 only rose 4.1%.

03.

a. Are we providing services that could best provided by other levels of government?

The federal and provincial governments have constitutional responsibility for the provision of many services — some of which the City also provides or augments. The City could save on its expenses by ensuring that the services it provides are not a duplication of services provided by other orders of government, as well as by ensuring it is not paying costs that are the legitimate responsibility of other orders of government.

 

b. Are we duplicating private and non-profit programs and services?

Another way that the City can refrain from providing services that are more appropriately provided by others is by taking a close look at what businesses it is in. Many City programs could be, or are already, better provided by non-profit and private organizations. Some areas to explore would be recreation centres, communications, waste collection, property management and land development.

04.

Are there opportunities for better cost recovery in our fee for service models?

The City subsidizes various citizen services by charging less to use the services than it costs to provide them. A cost saving measure the City could explore is to review the fee-for-service model that is used at many City amenities and ensure that user fees are more closely aligned with the cost of providing the amenity while continuing to ensure accessibility for lower-income Edmontonians. Some areas to explore would be transit, pools and libraries.

05.

Can we facilitate more High-Return Development?

Commercial, industrial, and dense residential developments pay more taxes than the services they require. The City should consider enabling ideas like expedited change of use permits; a guaranteed Development Permit timeline; and expedited service for high value city-building projects.

06.

Should we priortize value in City building service standards?

The City can achieve cost savings, or approve more capital projects, by value engineering projects. New capital projects like fire halls, police stations, libraries and recreation centres should be evaluated for design efficiencies to get the most value for the public’s dollar.

IN THE MEDIA

How you can help

For media inquiries contact: media@prosperityedmonton.comFor all other inquiries contact: info@prosperityedmonton.com

info kit

Letters to Council

We have written two letters to Edmonton’s Mayor and Council, explaining to them the need for some respite for Edmonton homes and businesses from the long-term pattern of property tax increases.

PARTNERS

Prosperity Edmonton was formed by a group of businesses and non-profit business associations who share a common goal of ensuring that Edmonton has a competitive
tax and policy climate where businesses and people can grow and flourish.

Nine business associations,
representing thousands of businesses
and people, form Prosperity Edmonton