01/31/2011

Today AMO President, Peter Hume, presented the Association’s Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
Highlights are of the submission are below.

Continue to honour the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review agreement
For municipalities, the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review is the most important fiscal restructuring advance of the past decade.  In 2011, the Province will have reduced its reliance on municipal property taxes to pay for its programs by $947 million.  Ontario municipalities were willing contributors with the economic stimulus programs of 2009.   Intergovernmental cooperation was a contributing factor to help halt the economic decline.  Municipal investments were based on the Review’s long-term, predictable cost sharing arrangements.  

Infrastructure Investment Fund
AMO is calling on the Province to create a new Infrastructure Investment Fund.  Such a fund should provide predictable and sustained levels of support over a long period of time.  This is of particular importance to small and rural communities, whose transit system of roads and bridges is vital to their communities.  The submission also calls for infrastructure funding to help meet the needs of municipal social housing stock and the extensive infrastructure modifications required in order to meet the accessibility needs of Ontarians.    

Household Waste Policy
Since 1989, Ontario has filled up 649 of its 730 land fill sites. In over twenty years, there has only been approval for one energy from waste incinerator.  A heap of trouble waits if we do not make advancements to our approaches to waste management in this Province.  Property taxpayers shoulder a big bill.  AMO believes responsibility for waste management appropriately belongs with producers and consumers.  

Policing Costs and the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF)
In 2008, municipalities spent $3.26 billion to provide policing services to their communities.  Provincial assistance was a mere 2% of that total, or $66.1 million.   Now is the time to take another look at the policing component of the OMPF to ensure it is truly reflective of, and responsive to, policing in small and rural communities including the cost of recent OPP settlements.  
 
Municipal Liability and Insurance Costs

Municipal liability exposure has led to ever increasing insurance bills.  In 2010, Essex County’s insurance rates increased by 47.5% and in 2011 they were hit with a second staggering increase of 41%.  The 2011 increase alone is enough to trigger a 1% property tax increase in the county.  Surely, the government would agree that there are much better ways to spend property tax dollars than paying to insure against the punishing negligence regime of joint and several liability.  Together we need to find a better way forward.  

 

 
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