Legal Studies 479
Local Government Law in Alberta (OCW)

 

Legal Studies 479
Local Government Law in Alberta (OCW)

Legal Studies 479

Unit 4: Municipal Finances

Objectives

After completing this unit, you should be able to

  1. list the powers of the Minister in relation to the financial affairs of a municipality;
  2. explain the obligations of a municipality in relation to annual budgeting;
  3. describe in what circumstances councillors may be liable for financial decisions or expenditures made by municipalities;
  4. identify the sources of local government revenue;
  5. outline the restrictions of borrowing;
  6. discuss the role and limitations of property assessment as a tax base;
  7. outline the assessment procedure and appeal process; and
  8. explain the differences between property assessment and business assessment.

The role of a municipality is to provide good government for its citizens and to provide services, facilities or other things that a council believes are necessary or desirable for all or a part of the municipality.  To provide those services or facilities requires the expenditure of money.  This unit examines the obligations of municipalities in relation to its finances.

The area of municipal finances is perhaps unique in the area of municipal law because the provisions of the Act contain only a small portion of the regulatory regime.  Many of the obligations of municipalities are contained in a comprehensive scheme of regulations that supplement the framework set out in the Act.  This unit is an overview of the statutory obligations.  Administrators who are responsible for the financial affairs of municipalities should work with accounting personnel in the preparation of both municipal budgets and financial statements.

The first Maurice Duplessis government (Quebec) in 1936

The first Maurice Duplessis government (Quebec) in 1936. From left to right: Antonio Élie (minister without portfolio), François Leduc (Roads), Albiny Paquette (Secretary), Bona Dussault (Agriculture), Henry Auger (Colonization), Oscar Drouin (Lands and Forests), Maurice Duplessis (Prime minister; Solicitor General), Martin Fisher (Treasurer), Onésime Gagnon (Mines; Hunting and Fisheries), John Bourque (Public Works), William Tremblay (Labour), Joseph Bilodeau (Municipal Affairs; Industry and Commerce), Thomas Joseph Coonan (without portfolio), Gilbert Layton (without portfolio). Author: Unknown. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved April 3, 2012.

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