MUNICIPALITIES RALLY FOR MARIJUANA REVENUES
Clarence-Rockland and Alfred-Plantagenet have both supported a resolution requesting new tax revenues generated by the sale of legal marijuana be proportionally allocated to municipalities.
The Town of Lakeshore initiated this request by passing a resolution at a Council meeting in January. This resolution was then sent to Prime Minister Trudeau and many other government leaders and associations. Alfred-Plantagenet and Clarence-Rockland both followed suit by passing a resolution of their own, supporting Lakeshore’s request.
The initial resolution by the Town of Lakeshore calls for both the federal and the provincial government to allocate a proportionate share of the new tax revenues, which will be generated from the sales of marijuana, directly to municipalities. The resolution also requests that the government create a fund, similar to that of the Gas Tax Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, from these new marijuana tax revenues to provide funding to municipalities for infrastructure projects.
Since recreational marijuana will be available for purchase through retail outlets in Canada, as is expected to happen by July of this year, new tax revenues will be generated by these sales. The Government of Canada and of Ontario have been actively discussing how to distribute these new tax revenues, but have thus far made no indication of an intention to distribute a share to municipalities.
The Town of Lakeshore argued, in its official resolution, that municipalities are entitled to a share of these tax revenues as they are responsible for many critical infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, water treatment and the delivery of potable water. Municipalities already face a significant challenge in receiving funding for such projects. They also have limited options to increase their revenues, besides having to raise property taxes, which directly impacts all taxpayers.
The resolution was unanimously passed from the Town of Lakeshore and was thereafter also supported by the Alfred-Plantagenet and Clarence-Rockland councils. A copy of the resolution has been sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the leaders of the federal opposition parties, Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, the leaders of the provincial opposition parties and all members of Parliament and of Provincial Parliament in Ontario. It has also been sent to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
Clarence-Rockland et Alfred-Plantagenet ont tous deux appuyé une résolution demandant que les nouvelles recettes fiscales générées par la vente de marijuana légale soient attribuées proportionnellement aux municipalités. .