12/15/2010

The Ministry of Finance confirmed individual municipal allocations for 2011.

The provincial government has announced Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) allocations to eligible municipalities. Letters to heads of council and treasurers are being mailed at this time.

The OMPF is a critical provincial funding program which assists municipalities with social program costs, equalization, policing costs, and has a northern and rural communities component. For 2011, 372 municipalities will receive $577 million in OMPF funding. This reflects anticipated social assistance benefit uploads valued at $947 million. Some data elements (e.g. weighted assessment) and thresholds have been updated but the OMPF formula remains as it did for 2010.

One important component of the Fund which was of concern for 2011 is the issue of transitional assistance funding (formerly known as mitigation). Transitional Assistance will total $20 million, down $5 million from 2010. It will be distributed to approximately 70 municipalities. Last year’s allocation assisted 105 municipalities. The Province advises that this reduction is reflective of the increase in municipalities receiving funding at or close to actual OMPF entitlements.

Transition Assistance for northern Ontario municipalities will remain at 95% of the prior year’s Combined Benefit. For southern Ontario municipalities, it will increase from 80% to 90% of the prior year’s Combined Benefit.

The government has also indicated that it will be reconciling 2009 OMPF allocations. Reconciliation adjusts municipal OMPF allocations for the difference between projected and actual social assistance and policing costs. AMO is pleased that the government has made this commitment at this time.

Some municipalities have not completed Financial Information Returns (FIRs) for 2009. This is a requirement to receive OMPF funding. Municipalities with outstanding FIRs are encouraged to complete them as soon as possible. In the meantime, these municipalities will be provided preliminary OMPF allocations but payments will be held back.