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Blue Mountain

Conference 2017

Keynote: You Get What You Pay For: How Should We Finance Urban Infrastructure?

October 05, 2017


We all know that infrastructure matters – roads, transit, water, sewers, community facilities, and more. How we pay for that infrastructure also matters. This presentation emphasizes the importance of linking revenues to pay for infrastructure to the various types of infrastructure and provides a framework for understanding which revenue sources are appropriate. It considers revenue options such as property taxes, land value capture taxes, user fees, development levies, and provincial and federal transfers as well as financing options such as borrowing and public-private partnerships. The presentation ends by identifying ways to gain public trust and bring the public on board.
Learning outcomes:
  • It is important to link decisions on funding with decisions on spending to ensure that policy decisions accord with what citizens want.
  • User fees not only bring in revenues but they alter economic behavior.
  • Public trust is needed to raise more revenues to pay for infrastructure.