Be careful what you wish for on new revenue sources

By Michael Burton | 11 September 2019
  • Michael Burton

Travel broadens the mind so they say, and a recent trip to Canada certainly opened my eyes. There has been much speculation here about how local government should be allowed to raise income from other sources such as tourism and sales. While this makes great sense it does carry its own risks, such as council projects becoming dependent on income that can ebb and flow – especially in recession.

The holiday in Canada provided one graphic example of such instability. I was intrigued to read in the daily New Brunswick Telegraph Journal that the provincial government of New Brunswick’s finances have been adversely affected by the disappointing tax income from cannabis sales. As readers of The MJ will know cannabis was legalised in Canada last year with a percentage of its tax income being distributed across federal government, state and municipalities. However according to the Telegraph ‘cannabis-related revenue continues to slide’ and ‘a more profitable business plan is needed.’

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