02/02/2006

The Ontario Municipal Fiscal Situation Issues and Future Directions: AMO Pre-Budget Submission to The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
In anticipation of the provincial budget, AMO has developed its pre-budget submission calling on the Provincial government to address the ongoing provincial municipal fiscal relationship. President Roger Anderson made a presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs today.

Highlights of Submission:
In this year’s pre-budget submission we have emphasized the need to reduce the Province’s reliance on municipal revenues to subsidize provincial programs and services, or to close the provincial-municipal “$3 Billion fiscal gap”.  

The $3 billion gap is not about whether or not the Harris download was “revenue neutral”. It’s about Ontario’s unsustainable provincial-municipal fiscal relationship, which has resulted directly in Ontarians paying by far the highest municipal property taxes in Canada.   

In the President’s speech and accompanying written presentation, AMO encourages the Province to work with us to address the current unsustainable provincial-municipal fiscal relationship to strengthen our communities and urged all Ontario MPPs to seize the following three priorities in this year’s Budget:

  • Provide an immediate and meaningful reduction in the cost to municipalities to subsidize provincial health and social services programs, with a view to its eventual elimination;
  • Commit to ensuring that predictable and sustainable revenue is available to all municipalities; and
  • Commit to providing a plan to eliminate the municipal infrastructure deficit over time. 
In 2004, the Province delivered a health budget; in 2005, the Province delivered an education budget. President Anderson emphasized to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs that this year’s budget needs to be a municipal budget.