The Smart Budget report has been prepared to help community leaders in both the public and private sector gain a practical understanding of the potential role for environmental pricing reform (EPR) in building sustainable communities. It seeks to facilitate a dialogue among all key community interests on identifying opportunities to address local government priorities through a mix of EPR policy instruments.
There is a growing recognition amongst the public, business, and governments that we must address our impact on the environment, and develop a more sustainable economy. Canadians expect local governments to address their concerns but to date, the emphasis has been more on creating visions and goals, while implementation has lagged behind. At the same time, local government finances have been stretched, and excessive reliance on property taxes has limited local government options.

Environmental pricing reform (EPR) can help to bridge both gaps: the gap between environmental vision and implementation, and the gap between the current fiscal constraints and the needed fiscal flexibility. EPR is an effective governance tool that shifts prices (a powerful driver of decisions and behaviour) and can help communities achieve their goals.

This document provides an introduction to EPR for local governments, and a user-friendly portal to many useful and accessible resources.