Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Questions for the Candidates: Tangible Capital Assets

Today, I have a question for the provincial candidates in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills about Tangible Capital Assets

For the last few years, Alberta municipalities have had to include a list of all their Tangible Capital Assets (TCAs) and the depreciation of those assets when building next year's budget.  For large municipalities, this isn't a hardship - but for smaller ones it can really hurt.

Let's say a town of 1500 Albertans wants a new public building.  They are given a provincial grant to build a multi-million dollar facility in their town.  That building must now be listed as a capital asset - and its depreciation calculated into the town's budgeting process.

According to the Municipal Government Act, the municipality cannot operate with a deficit budget, so they may have to raise taxes considerably to cover that amount - even though they didn't fund the project in the first place!  Smaller municipalities, like Beiseker, are the most vulnerable.

Question #2;  If elected as a government, will your party address this serious error in calculating a municipality's property taxes and financial status - and remove the TCA depreciation from the mix?

1 comment:

  1. For starters, Tangible Capital Assets are standard accounting practices. The Government of Alberta won’t abandon accounting practices.

    However, this is an issue I would look to our municipal partners for a best way forward. While there are good accounting reasons to do this we absolutely need to make sure that we don’t create situations that limit the success of our municipalities. If elected, I will have to work closely with you and your Council on this issue.

    To “Partner with Municipalities” is among the key priorities of The Prentice Plan, our PC Alberta election platform. We recognize that municipalities play a crucial role in the everyday lives of our citizens. They are the level of government closest to Albertans, as you and I both know as municipal elected officials.

    One of our actions related to the priority placed on municipal partnership is to help municipalities fund their infrastructure needs – including transportation, transit and libraries. Please take note of the $29.5 billion infrastructure commitment in our plan over the next five years.

    To see The Prentice Plan in its entirety, please check out this link: https://www.pcalberta.org/Plan
    Further, in the 2015 budget passed last month we identified these priorities for Municipal Investment:
    We want to provide municipalities with the financial resources they need to support their local priorities and build strong, safe and resilient communities.
    Government is holding the line on its Municipal Affairs budget through calendar 2015, helping Alberta remain the largest per capita funder of local governments in Canada.
    The $374 million reduction to the Municipal Sustainable Infrastructure (MSI) funding is offset by $390 million added in 2014-15. Together, the two amounts keep funding whole for 2015.

    Thank you very much.

    Wade Bearchell
    PC Alberta candidate, Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills