• Worst Grade: Oshawa, Kingston & Guelph
• Best Grade: St. Catharines & Kitchener
July 8, 2013 – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released a report card on municipal spending. The report card graded the 20 largest municipalities in Ontario based on an number of spending and taxation indicators, including spending on highly-paid staff and property taxes.
“Over the past two years, the number of high-salaried employees in the 20 major municipalities in Ontario has grown by 34 per cent,” said Candice Malcolm, Ontario Director of the CTF. “That’s 34 per cent more fat cats getting even fatter through taxpayer dollars at time when roads and bridges are crumbling, commutes are getting longer, and our cities are becoming less livable.”
The report relied on property tax data and information from Ontario’s Sunshine List of government employees earning six-figures. St. Catharines and Kitchener topped the list with a grade of B-. Oshawa was the worst performer with an F, followed closely by Kingston and Guelph that each scored a D.
“At a time when city governments are telling us to tighten our belts, they are busy giving themselves rich salaries,” Malcolm continued. “Just look at government employee salaries. Government employees pay themselves about 14 per cent more than what everyone else in the province earns.”
“Not every city failed the CTF Municipal Report Card,” said Malcolm. “There are a few shining cities upon a hill in Ontario that should serve as examples to all levels of government.”
“We’ve seen some admirable achievements in St. Catharines and Kitchener, who have each managed to reduce the size and salaries of their municipal Sunshine Lists. This demonstrates that debt and mismanagement are not the only option in Ontario.”
“Today, we congratulate these municipalities for getting their fiscal houses in order,” said Malcolm. “If only other city governments would follow suit.”
The full report card can be found HERE.