Huron County, Ontario – The County of Huron joins the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in calling on the province to commit to reviewing the provincial-municipal fiscal framework as part of the upcoming provincial budget.
In early January, AMO, a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments, highlighted the need for a Social and Economic Prosperity Review as part of its Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
Municipalities provide infrastructure and critical services that are central to Ontario’s economic prosperity and quality of life, investing almost $65 billion annually in Ontario communities. The fiscal framework that municipalities rely on to deliver infrastructure and services is broken – failing residents, small businesses, and major industries. Unlike the province, municipal revenues do not grow with the economy or inflation. New realities, including the pressures of growth, economic factors like inflation and interest rates, social challenges, and provincial policy decisions are pushing municipalities to the brink.
The County of Huron joins AMO in calling on Premier Ford to do what taxpayers expect – work together with municipal governments to modernize this partnership and build a solid foundation for economic and social prosperity that is fair and affordable for taxpayers.
“It is essential that all levels of government work together with coordinated effort and shared responsibility to meet the needs of all Ontarians, including those living here in Huron County,” said Huron County Warden Glen McNeil. “The County of Huron is supportive of this important call to action.”
Last adjusted in 2008, a review of provincial-municipal financial arrangements is long overdue. Municipalities continue to subsidize the provincial treasury by almost $4 billion each year by paying for provincial responsibilities such as social housing, long-term care, public health, childcare, and social services. Ontario’s property taxes are already the second highest in the country, while provincial spending per capita is the lowest in Canada. Property taxpayers, including small business owners, and seniors on fixed incomes, can’t afford to keep paying provincial costs.
As Ontario grows, major investment in essential municipal infrastructure is required to achieve the province’s ambitious target of building 1.5 million new homes by 2031. However, Bill 23 created a $1 billion annual hole in municipalities’ ability to fund this foundational new infrastructure that will help the province grow.
Ontario’s provincial and municipal governments have a strong history of collaboration. The County of Huron and AMO believe the time is right for a province-wide conversation where municipalities and the province come together to promote the stability and sustainability of municipal finances province-wide.
Learn more about the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO): www.AMO.on.ca