Canadian Federation of Independent Business wants municipal politicians to take the CFIB Taxpayer Pledge, committing to three principles:
1. Property Tax Fairness:
“A commitment to narrow the current gap between commercial and residential property taxes…”
Under this proposal, McDonalds, Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, White Spot, Esso and other companies would pay lower property taxes. You and I and Widow Smith and her six children would pay more. In reality, businesses pay more civic tax because they consume more, services such as roadways, traffic management and policing.
2. Spending Restraint:
“A commitment to keep operating spending increases reasonable i.e. no more than population + inflation or growth in disposable income…”
Everyone should want to see government exercise restraint and fiduciary caution. However, for the benefit of its members, CFIB is happy for local government to make capital expenditures, building roads, arenas, convention centres, daycares and recreational facilities. CFIB wants operating funds curtailed and without staff and operating budgets, these facilities cannot function.
3. Municipal Accountability:
“A commitment to support the creation of a Municipal Auditor General for BC communities …”
A phony issue. Municipalities are already examined by independent auditors. Here for example is an excerpt from the City of Surrey Statement of Financial Information for the year ended December 31, 2010:
“The Audit Committee [Councillor Gill, Hunt and Steele] is responsible for ensuring that management fulfils its responsibilities for financial reporting and internal controls. The Audit Committee meets with management, the internal auditor and the external auditors as required.
“The external auditors, KPMG, conduct an independent examination, in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, and express their opinion on the financial statements. …Their examination includes a review and evaluation of the City’s system of internal controls and appropriate tests and procedures to provide reasonable assurance that the financial statements are presented fairly. The external auditors have full and fair access to the Audit Committee.”
Is the CFIB speaking out against the expected anti-buy-local provisions in the new Canada-Europe Trade Agreement? What 'Independent Businesses' do these guys front for? Goldman Sachs?