South Stormont worried about drop in grant
LONG SAULT — South Stormont is planning to make its displeasure known about cuts to an important source of provincial funding ontario Finance Minister Vic Fide li seems to have tried to slip by municipalities without them noticing.
a letter announcing changes to the ontario Municipal Partnership Fund arrived at the township administration building at 5 p.m. on dec. 21 – the Friday before Christmas, just as municipal offices would be closing for the better part of two weeks.
the letter announced the fund would be reduced by an unspecified amount and that notices were unlikely to be received prior to the beginning of the consultations for the 2019 provincial budget.
Feeling the government had just tried to pull a fast one, township council passed a recommendation criticizing the changes and how they were announced that will be circulated to other municipalities asking for their endorsement.
“we can’t sustain ourselves on taxes alone, we need the partnership of the provincial initiatives to help us out ,” said Mayor Bryan McGill is .“we understand that they have a job to do too, but they should be taking baby steps rather than hammering us.”
last year, South Storm ont received $821,700 from the ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, which equals for 14 per cent of its property tax revenue.
the oMPF is meant to reimburse municipalities for property tax revenues lost due to provincial policies that place lower limits on tax rates for certain types of lands, such as forested land and some farm lands. Since 1998, it’ s also been a significant source of provincial funding to cover policingcosts in rural town ships that have oPP contracts.
the previous liberal government had already been decreasing oMPF transfer amounts, though to a greater scale for urban municipalities than rural ones.