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    Tuesday » October 3 » 2006

    $1.4B for municipalities

    The Edmonton Journal

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    EDMONTON - Conservative leadership candidate Ed Stelmach is offering Alberta's municipalities $1.4 billion in new funding if he is chosen to replace Premier Ralph Klein.

    The $1.4 billion would be given out over three years, although the new funding program would continue for another seven years, Stelmach told reporters outside Edmonton City Hall on Monday.

    "This will go a long way in helping municipalities deal with the tremendous pressures that they are facing today," said Stelmach. The proposed fund equals the $1.4 billion the province collects from the education portion of property taxes in Alberta each year.

    Other leadership candidates are also making promises to municipalities. Lyle Oberg says that as premier he would turn over the education portion of property taxes to local governments, with municipalities getting 75 per cent and school boards 25 per cent, to be spent on capital projects.

    Until 1993, school taxes were levied by local school boards. Since then, school tax money has gone to the province, which uses it to support Alberta's school system.

    The provincial government currently has a $3-billion municipal infrastructure fund which is being distributed to towns and cities over a five-year period.

    © The Edmonton Journal 2006

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