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Better, But Still Rising Steadily: An Update on Municipal Spending in Metro Vancouver


  • Collectively, the 21 municipalities that comprise Metro Vancouver allocated $3.74 billion to operating or program spending in 2015, up 67% from a decade ago.
  • Dividing the last decade into two periods, spending growth has slowed appreciably: between 2010 and 2015 total program spending by Metro municipalities rose 21%, whereas it surged 39% between 2005 and 2010.
  • In real per capita terms, municipal government expenditures in Metro Vancouver grew by 6.9% over the past five years.  This is a notable reduction from the 20% jump recorded between 2005 and 2010.

  • On a per person basis, Metro municipal expenditures on average are still growing at more than twice the rate of inflation, which means the municipal tax burden for residential and business taxpayers continues to rise faster than overall wages and prices.

  • Real per capita spending by Metro Vancouver municipalities continues to increase more quickly than similar spending by the BC government.

  • Among the region’s 21 municipalities, the growth in real per capita spending was slower over the past five years than during the 2005-2010 period in all but three municipalities.

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