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Mayor gains council support to tell province it is undermining municipal prosperity

UPDATE: Supported by council.

Prince Edward County’s mayor seeks council’s support in a call to the province for stable municipal finances – something he noted is needed by municipalities across the province.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Mayor Steve Ferguson is calling for support for a resolution that the Ontario government commit to a social and economic prosperity review with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to promote stability and sustainability of municipal finances across the province.

“Current provincial/municipal fiscal arrangements are undermining Ontario’s economic prosperity and quality of life,” states Ferguson, adding that nearly one third of municipal spending in Ontario is for services in the areas of provincial responsibility, including health care, child care, long-term care and housing.

“These municipal costs are outpacing provincial contributions by nearly $4 billion a year,” he states.

Mayor Steve Ferguson

He notes municipal revenues from property taxes do not grow with the economy, or inflation, and a one per cent increase in taxes generates approximately $507,000 in the County.

“Aging infrastructure, combined with housing construction and population growth will require significant investments in municipal infrastructure costs including roads, bridges, water and wastewater.

“Inflation, rising interest rates and provincial policy decisions such as a pause on Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (are sharply constraining municipal fiscal capacity.”

Ferguson adds that Ontario’s property taxes are already the second highest in the country, “while provincial spending per capita is the lowest in Canada and property taxpayers – including people on fixed incomes and small businesses – can’t afford to subsidize income re-distribution programs for those most in need.”

Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Shire Hall. The meeting is to be live-streamed and can be accessed on YouTube or the County website.

 

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  1. Chuck says:

    Premier Ford just asked this morning that Municipalaties stop gouging the residents with increased taxes and begin to deliver affordable services.

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