02/10/2011

Comments concerning the possible amendment of the terms and conditions of the Gas Tax Fund to allow municipalities to invest in professional sports and entertainment facilities.
AMO BREAKING NEWS

February 10, 2011

 
Recent media reports have suggested that the Federal Government may amend the terms and conditions of the Gas Tax Fund to allow municipalities to invest in professional sports and entertainment facilities.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is reporting that the Mayor of Quebec City, as well as the mayors of several other municipalities seeking federal arena funding, have spoken out against this proposal. Furthermore, the Federal Government appears to be backing away from it.

While an expansion of the eligible categories would increase local flexibility, it would dilute the amount of federal funding dedicated to core municipal infrastructure. In addition, it would distract from the more pressing need for new long term and sustainable funding for essential infrastructure. In October 2008, Ontario’s Joint Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review identified a $60 Billion infrastructure deficit. Currently, the Federal Gas Tax Fund remains the only source of long-term, predictable and stable funding available to help address these essential needs.

The Gas Tax Fund delivers local funding for local projects on a per capita basis. Since 2005, municipalities have invested $1.04 Billion from the Fund in 2,300 projects worth more than $3.68 Billion. These investments have occurred in seven eligible categories, including capacity building, community energy systems, public transit, water, wastewater, solid waste and roads and bridges.

Despite these accomplishments, additional resources will be required to address the gap over the long-term. AMO supports FCM’s call for long term strategies to ensure that all orders of government are working together to meet the infrastructure needs of our communities.

AMO will provide further updates related to the Federal Gas Tax Fund as information becomes available.