By Debra Pretty-Straathof, Regional Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
Premier Doug Ford announced recently that his government is moving forward with the plan to download the cost of some provincial services to municipalities. Shifting more financial responsibility to Ontario’s 444 municipalities will have implications for those residents in rural communities across the province.
Speaking at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Toronto, Premier Ford confirmed that the provincial government will be providing some $300 million less funding to our municipalities in 2020.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) understands that these actions put added stress on municipal budgets and leave municipal leaders with tough decisions to make about how to make up the shortfall. Many will look to property taxes as a means to make up the revenue shortfall. But OFA urges caution to municipalities that may consider imposing higher farm property taxes as a stopgap solution.