Municipal Revenue Generation and Implications for Land Use and Environmental Quality


Alberta’s municipalities generate local revenue through residential and business property taxes, user fees for services, licensing, and a host of discretionary tax tools that include business taxes, special taxes and development-related levies. Concerns have been expressed about the adequacy of these revenue sources to meet municipal responsibilities and whether the current revenue sources have contributed to urban sprawl, land fragmentation and infrastructure duplication.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Edmonton and Calgary metropolitan areas, where the expansion has resulted in tension between cities and their rural and small urban centre neighbours.

The research project explores the factors driving urban growth and whether municipal revenue sources have affected development decisions within the rural-urban fringe in the Calgary and Edmonton metropolitan regions. It also reviews the experiences of other jurisdictions around municipal revenue generation, service provision, land use change, and environmental quality.

This research will improve the understanding about the impact of municipal revenue generation on land use and environmental quality among municipal officials, developers, and policymakers.