NB to provide $40 million to Regional Service Commissions to address economic development – New Brunswick IG News

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The province of New Brunswick is providing $40 million to the province’s Regional Service Commissions (RSCs) to advance its new economic development mandate.

Until recently, RSCs were primarily responsible for solid waste collection, but the province’s local government reform program has given regional bodies new responsibilities including economic development, tourism marketing, regional transportation, recreational facility cost sharing and, in some cases, handed over. Addressing social issues. The 12 RSCs are made up of the mayors of each municipality in a given region.

The new funding will flow from Working NB and the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labor (PETL) and will be available over the next decade in the form of long-term funding agreements.

“It is transferring money from the central government to the regions,” Local Government Minister Daniel Allen told reporters.

“All along, you’ll see in the white paper, we were going to shift resources and tools to make sure that the RSCs work on those new five priorities.”

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Will provide $4 million per year split among 11 RSCs based on population. PETL Minister Trevor Holder says it works out to about $8 per person. The Fundy Regional Service Commission already has a deal in place and is not included in the new funding stream.

Allen has faced criticism over the new mandates and changes to how the province funds municipalities, with some worrying the province is downloading responsibilities onto municipalities that have limited ability to raise revenue.

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A new community funding model announced in the fall will also see core grants from the provincial government, or amounts received by each municipality based on a tax base, phased out over five years and equality grants remain.

The municipality is now able to set a different tax rate for non-residential properties at 1.4 to 1.7 percent of the residential rate, Allen said, enough to offset the loss of revenue and help pay for new Additional fiscal capacity has been created. Responsibilities at Regional Service Commission level.

The basic grant will be reduced by 20 per cent every year for the next five years. That money would then flow to the regional service commissions, who would now be able to use it to pay for operations and help meet their obligations under the new mandate.

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The New Brunswick Union of Municipalities has welcomed a move to provide a new stream of direct funding to help pay for new mandates, raising concerns over potential costs to local governments as a result of the reform process.

“It’s certainly a good place to start,” said Dan Murphy, executive director of the union, who was pleased to see the funding deal go through over the next 10 years.

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“Making sure there is funding and it’s not just downloadable services is important.”

Each RSC has until July to create a regional plan, which will help guide funding needs in other regions. Allen said the province will announce other funding streams targeted at some of the new RSC obligations.

“Today’s announcement is specifically on economic development, we will make successive announcements on other responsibilities,” he said.

Allen also announced a summit on municipal funding, which will be held this fall.

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