January 15, 2019

AMO President Jamie McGarvey presents AMO’s 2019 Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs today. For the people living in 444 municipalities in Ontario, every dollar counts, every dollar matters.

Seven highlights of AMO’s Submission include:
  1. Ontarians already pay the highest property taxes in the country generally driven by the transfer of social housing and other services, a role in healthcare, and emergency service cost growth.
  2. Polling has told us municipal services are important to Ontarians. More than eight in ten Ontarians say they would be concerned if the province placed new demands on municipal governments that result in higher property taxes.
  3. Every municipality and every local economy is different.  Many communities have a very limited tax base and fiscal capacity. For almost half of Ontario’s municipal governments, a 1% property tax increase raises less than $50,000.
  4. In 2018, $133.7 billion in provincial spending went to all transfer payment recipients.  Support for municipalities accounts for just $4.2 billion of that amount or 5.6% of total transfers.  This may seem small but the support these dollars provide locally is huge.
  5. AMO estimates municipal governments need $4.9 billion per year for ten years on top of the existing federal and provincial transfers to continue delivering today’s services and close the infrastructure gap.
  6. Development charge revenue must be preserved. Shortchanging the public services Ontarians depend on is no way to build the communities people want to live in.
  7. Municipal governments are important to the provincial government. We are the front line.  We deliver many of the services that make communities strong and we build the infrastructure needed to grow the economy.
Councils and AMO members are encouraged to review and reinforce themes from AMO’s submission in discussions with their MPPs and Ministers.