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strategies are popular. In literatures with different ideological orientation, preferences will differ. In writings with a social-democratic orientation, tax increases for the public good tend to be favored, while more conservative, or neoliberal work expects more from lowering taxes (‘you can’t tax your way out of a problem’). • In Revelstoke, BC, the redevelopment strategies in the 1980s relied partly on raising taxes in the short run, with the idea they could be lowered later. In Calgary, the dominant discourse in governance has been to lower various taxes where the city has a say, and to lobby with the province to lower other taxes, with the understanding that this is the road to economic development. As often happens, narratives are embedded in ideologies, on the good community, the good citizen, her rights and duties and privileges, and on the way forward. In Calgary, this is evidenced through the impact of capitalist ideologies on local governance planning, visioning, and coordination to lower taxes for the sake of wealth creation. • Both tax strategies (increase and decrease) are focused on taxation as the essential tool of local communities to master their fate. This seems very reductionist after our previous stories on a diversity of coordination tools, various sorts of formal and informal institutions. It is possible that lack of revenues is an obstacle, or lack of companies, stores, residents, and this has to be taken seriously. It is entirely possible that self-analysis reveals such situation, and that tax-related instruments will constitute the core of the development strategy. What one often sees however, is that financial constraints are immediately translated as tax problems, and that a serious analysis of local governance is omitted. • Often, smaller towns that we visited in the Canadian West noticed that many of their ambitions, some of them already in plans, were beyond their financial means. Sometimes, there was a strong conviction that no vision or strategy made sense, since there was simply “no money”, understood in these communities to be the same as “no tax base”. Strategizing as such was seen as futile, as one assumed that strategizing and planning implied more spending and thus more taxes. While in fact more spending does not have to come directly from higher taxes, and while strategizing can lead to a new combination of sources of income and posts of expenditure. The underlying problem of their perspective, in our view, is that development strategy was understood as simply continuing on the existing path, and then adding some nice (and expensive) things. Carefully analyzing the current path, and looking at other places, can reveal that other paths with other outcomes are possible.

Part V: Development approaches for inspiration and guidance

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Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

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