Provincial Press Release December 14, 2020 @ 2:03pm published at 3:51pm
Alberta’s government is launching the Municipal Measurement Index to improve local decision-making and help Albertans see how local governments spend their money.
The new tool allows Albertans to view, explore and compare financial and statistical information, including property tax rates, major revenue and expense categories, and assessment values and debt values, for all of Alberta’s 338 municipalities.
Communities are compared according to population, size and equalized assessment, so Albertans can make educated and accurate comparisons.
“We want municipalities to be strong, fiscally responsible partners in the province’s economic recovery. Having a tool Albertans can use to view and compare data for municipalities across the province will increase accountability and transparency, while helping improve local decision-making. This was one of the government’s election platform commitments and, with this tool, Albertans now have the ability to grade the performance of their local government.” Tracy Allard, Minister of Municipal Affairs
“Supporting and improving municipal fiscal competitiveness is a top priority for our network of 122 community chambers across the province. The Municipal Measurement Index is a significant step toward doing just that, providing job creators the clarity they need to make sound investment decisions.” Ken Kobly, president and CEO, Alberta Chambers of Commerce
“The Municipal Measurement Index will allow municipalities to be even more transparent and accountable to Alberta taxpayers. This tool is a one-stop shop for residents to find out where we spend their money, how we spend their money, and it will allow us to be even more accountable to their needs as Albertans. Brazeau County continues to work hard to be fiscal stewards for all residents and support a regional environment conducive to economic growth and activity.” Bart Guyon, reeve, Brazeau County
Data used to create the comparisons comes from information provided by municipalities through audited financial statements, financial information returns, statistical information returns and other publicly available datasets, including Statistics Canada, from the years 2014 to 2019.
Another interactive dashboard – Financial Indicator Graphs – is also being launched with the Municipal Measurement Index, which shows a municipality’s performance and trends over time.
Allowing the public to access information on the long-term performance of municipalities is important to strengthening transparency for municipal governments and Albertans.
Currently, the dashboards are only viewable on a laptop or desktop due to security concerns and software limitations. Alberta’s government is working towards allowing the dashboards to be used on smartphones.
The Municipal Indicators document on the Government of Alberta Open Data Portal contains additional information on the annual performance of each municipality when compared to established benchmarks.