01/19/2005

In anticipation of the provincial budget, AMO has developed its pre-budget submission outlining the needs of Ontario municipalities.


In this year’s pre-budget submission we have emphasized the need for action on three main fronts:  

Actions that improve municipal revenues:

  • Provide access to municipal governments for new fiscal tools outside of user fees and property taxes.
  • Reconcile the 2003 Community Reinvestment Fund funding immediately to avoid additional increases in municipal property taxes.
  • Extend a share of the gas tax to fund construction and maintenance of roads and bridges.
  • Explore the sharing of so-called “sin taxes” or other areas of provincial taxation, or gaming revenues.
  • Allow municipalities to collect fees and charges related to the private use of public rights of ways.
  • Amend the Development Charges Act to ensure it fully supports the costs of new types of development.
Actions that reduce municipal costs:
  • Examine the labour relations regime to assist municipal governments grappling with labour costs that represent approximately 80% of their operating costs.
  • Review provincial program standards to ensure more timely pre-consultation and fair accounting of the financial impacts on municipalities.
  • Zero-rate the provincial sales tax (PST) for municipal governments’ purchase of services and goods, helping municipalities retain an estimated $180 million of their collected property tax dollars.
Actions addressing non-revenue issues:
  • Pass Bill 92, the Municipal Act Amendment Act to enshrine the principle of pre-consultation with municipal governments in legislation.
  • Move forward with the review of the Municipal Act to give municipal councils broader policy-making authority.
  • Protect the rights of “two-hatter” fire fighters who make themselves available in their home municipalities.
President Anderson will be emphasizing these issues during his presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.  AMO will continue to advocate these issues, along with the on-going concerns about the social housing stock, child care spaces, emergency services and public heath.