Burns Lake Mayor Chris Beach said the village has taken many measures to reduce spending over the years. (Lakes District News file photo)

Burns Lake ranks well in municipal spending report

Operational spending in Burns Lake has decreased 29 per cent

According to a recent report on municipal spending by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Burns Lake was the best performer in northwest B.C. and the tenth best in the province.

The B.C. Municipal Spending Watch 2017 report ranked municipalities against one another. The rank was calculated through an even split between two different measures – a municipality’s 2005 to 2015 spending increase and its 2015 per-person spending level.

In general, municipalities with a large upward spending trend and a high current spending level received a poor rank, while a municipality with a low spending level and low or downward trend received a good ranking.

Between 2005 and 2015, operational spending in Burns Lake decreased by 29 per cent.

Burns Lake Mayor Chris Beach said the village has taken many measures to reduce spending over the years.

“Council is always mindful of spending while determining the need for capital infrastructure improvements,” he said. “As well, Village of Burns Lake staff do a great job managing the finances and are always fiscally responsible.”

According to CFIB, excessive growth in operating spending by local governments leads to higher taxes, which in turn puts pressure on local commerce and stifles job growth.

“For local governments, the choice is clear: address their growth in operational spending now or leave a greater burden for future governments to deal with,” notes the report.

“While a select few can be commended for their efforts to control expenditures, it is important to highlight that spending habits above sustainable levels have a direct financial burden on British Columbians, and furthermore the small businesses who live to support and grow our economy,” adds the report.

Earlier this year, councillor Kelly Holliday questioned if not raising taxes was necessarily good for Burns Lake, as it could also mean that the municipality is not making enough investments.

READ MORE: Is not raising taxes good for Burns Lake?

“If we’re only raising taxes to one per cent, or not raising them at all, we’re getting behind,” she said in April. “It’s making it very difficult for us to save money for future projects or to replace infrastructure or repair infrastructure as it breaks.”

Only seven out of 152 municipal governments in B.C. have kept operational spending at or below levels of inflation plus population growth over the 10-year period. No major municipal government with more than 25,000 residents made the list.

According to CFIB, on average, a family of four in B.C. could have saved $7842 in municipal taxes over a 10-year term if municipal operating spending had been held in line with that benchmark.

Mayor Beach added that he feels positive about the what the future holds for Burns Lake.

“Council has embarked on an economic diversification path that will allow us to support community organizations and initiatives,” he said, referring to the Lakes District economic diversification committee, which was created to find ways to reduce the impacts of declining timber supply.


 

@flavio_nienow
newsroom@ldnews.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LDSS valedictorian Daria Strimbold to represent B.C. for the WE virtual grad party

The event will be hosted by comedian Lilly Singh, on CTV on June 6

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

No fines issued in provincial parks over May longweekend

Activities restricted to day-use only

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Social distancing at the skatepark — kids style

Kids in the village have taken on board this season of social… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read