August 2018
Backgrounder
The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) provides unconditional operating support from the Province to municipal governments. It uses an equalization approach to address challenges in rural and northern communities, with funding based on various community fiscal health indicators.

The fund has changed over time, in large part to reflect the upload of social assistance. Despite the upload, the OMPF remains a critical provincial funding program for many communities.

For the past several years, the Ministry has hosted an annual meeting of almost 30 municipal treasurers to discuss the future of the Fund, its design and ongoing evolution. These discussions have helped to inform some of the Province’s funding decisions. Discussions under the new government have not yet taken place.

Total allocations for 2019 are $510 million. AMO has been seeking modest inflationary increases from the provincial government for several years. Key grant components related to policing and farmland have been discontinued (see chart below). In recent years, many recipient municipal governments have been experiencing annual cuts of between 10-15%. On the positive side, specific dollars are being targeted to specific municipalities facing the most pressing of fiscal circumstances.

OMPF reductions have a big impact on local property tax rates, particularly because a 1% property tax increase raises just $50,000 for almost half of Ontario’s municipal governments.

Image of Historical OMPF Allocation (in millions of $) chart