One issue the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) continues to contend with, and has been for several years, is increasing costs it says are mandated by the federal government on cities and towns. 

AMM President, Kam Blight, says they're lobbying for both retroactive and newer costs that he feels are becoming a frustrating trend. He noted the problem is, however, that municipalities have to tax residents to cover those costs.

For example, Blight says RCMP costs have dramatically increased over the last few years.

"There is also the cost of body-worn cameras," says Blight. "What we're seeing is a real trend by the federal government to download high costs onto municipalities, specifically, the body-worn cameras issue that was an election campaign promise by the Prime Minister. He suggested that all officers with boots on the ground are going to be required to wear body-worn cameras which, in theory, to a certain extent, sounds like a positive. But what he failed to mention is that municipalities will be picking up the tab for this."

Blight explained, AMM has been calling for the feds to not make promises with someone else's wallet. Blight emphasized, it's a real concern, seeing as it's just another additional cost for municipalities who he says really only have one way of generating revenues, and that's through taxation. 

"And we're also the only level of government that must balance our budget," notes Blight. "When they continuously download these additional costs on the municipalities, it puts a massive strain on the finances of each municipality, and it's going to cost us either the services that we're providing or it's going to cost the additional tax increases to our residents. It's a trend that we're trying to push back and fight against and it's really unfortunate. There are a lot of decisions being made without the consequences being thought through."