Mr. Speaker, I rise today to voice my concern about GST reform. One aspect that particularly concerns me is the possible loss of GST rebate received by municipal governments.
Being a former mayor I know firsthand the benefits of the exempt status for municipalities. If GST is levied on municipalities it will place an immense financial burden on local governments and a greater burden to their taxpayers and possible higher tax rates.
Municipal governments across Canada are experiencing serious revenue shortfalls as are all other levels of government. Already local services are being threatened despite their best efforts to implement efficiencies.
I urge the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue to commit to placing no more greater tax burdens on municipal governments through the reform of the GST and to continue the rebate system that was negotiated with the previous government.