Whistler, Canada: Treat taxpayers like shareholders, businesses tell municipality
Taxpayers = Shareholders — a simple concept with a lot of validity that came out of a breakfast meeting at the Wild Wood Cafe in Whistler, Canada of a few local business owners. Frankly, this is the first time that I’ve seen this idea mentioned in the press. Enlighten me if you know of other recent mentions. I think it is a concept worth considering… to a point — to a point because a municipality, in this case Whistler, Canada, is not a company, not a business that can decide the public interest solely based on quarterly profits or any other bottom line monetary calculation. However, it makes sense for municipalities to regard taxes as “investments” in the community and for taxpayers to see themselves as “investors” with stakes in their communities. It’s a two way “street”!
An idea that came out of the breakfast meeting was to set up an “Economic Development Advisory Panel, similar to one set up in the City of Surrey that would help the Resort Municipality of Whistler inform the policy decisions of its council.” A Business Enhancement Committee once existed in Whistler, which was similar. It may be returning!
It is an idea — a simple idea — worth considering by other municipalities around the world. Keep your stakeholders engaged in the local policy process.
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