The Community Sustainability Partnership introduces a number of revenue-enhancing initiatives, capacity supports, and additional initiatives that will support and enhance communities across the province.
More information about each initiative, including lead contacts, is available below. For more general information, please contact:
Over the next three years the Provincial Government is investing over $46 million in additional funding in communities, annualized at approximately $25 million thereafter. An overview of revenue-enhancing initiatives is provided below.
Subject to new Accountability Measures, rebates will be provided to municipalities and local service districts of 25 per cent of the provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) beginning in January 2016, increasing to 57.14 per cent in January 2017. This will provide approximately $1.9 million in new revenue for the 2015-16 year, $10 million in 2016-17 and over $17 million annually thereafter.
Subject to new Accountability Measures, Government has implemented sharing of provincial revenue from gasoline tax with municipalities of 0.50 cents per litre in 2015-16 providing $3.6 million in new revenue, 0.75 cents per litre in 2016-17 providing $5.3 million in new funding and one cent per litre from 2017-18 onwards at $7.1 million annually.
Government has committed to maintain Municipal Operating Grant investment levels at $22 million for three years with a review of the grant amounts to occur in 2016-17. This commitment will provide stability and predictability in funding for planning purposes.
Throughout September and October 2015, Government consulted with key stakeholders regarding the potential expansion of the authority for municipalities to allow for blending of business and realty taxes to help streamline municipal taxation across Newfoundland and Labrador. The What We Heard document is now available here: Blending Of Taxes: What We Heard (4 MB)
Government is conducting public consultations on regional government throughout fall 2017. For more information on how to take part or register for an in-person consultation session, please visit engageNL.
In Budget 2015, Government built on significant drinking and wastewater initiatives by further committing to the following new initiatives through the Community Sustainability Partnership:
Other Drinking Water Initiatives and Resources
Over a 3.5 year period, beginning October 1, 2015, to March 31, 2019, Government will invest approximately $1 million to provide funding for the Eastern, Central and Western Regional Service Boards to hire regional water/wastewater operators. These operators will work with a pilot group of communities in each region to address water and wastewater infrastructure operations and monitoring challenges. Regional Service Boards have commenced the hiring process for the Regional Water and Wastewater System Operator positions through public employment postings.
Government is pleased to announce this program has been extended for an additional 2 years, April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2021. Funding of $480,000 will be invested in the employment of regional water/wastewater operators to continue the work with original pilot communities and expanding to additional communities in the province.
The program helps:
To help communities provide clean and safe drinking water, Government will engage a consultant to provide solutions to reduce the number of community boil water advisories. While boil water advisories are necessary to reduce the risk of water contamination and protect community residents, many can be eliminated through proper operation and maintenance of water disinfection systems already owned by communities. This initiative will provide guidance to help communities identify necessary steps to prevent and lift boil water advisories.
Recognizing the importance of municipal infrastructure planning, Government has begun developing a provincial municipal asset management framework that will provide further details on the current state of municipal infrastructure in the province. This framework is necessary to further quantify municipal infrastructure gaps and to help inform long term infrastructure investment requirements. Government has begun consultation with the Joint Infrastructure Committee to develop this management framework.
Government recognizes that all levels of government have an important role to play in sustaining communities and maintaining accountability. New accountability measures have been implemented to access municipal operating grants and the provincial gas tax revenues that require each municipality to submit a summary of its taxes receivable balances to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, along with a plan to adequately collect taxes receivable. Municipalities must also maintain own source revenue levels on a per capita basis. Municipalities identified for the water and wastewater initiative must participate in these new accountability measures.
Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador's request for the authority to implement an accommodations tax will significantly impact the hospitality and tourism sector. Government has invited Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador and Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador to collaborate on a joint proposal, to be submitted to Government for consideration, which has the support of both sector stakeholders.
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