November 2020
Ontario Fall 2020 Budget

2020-11-05 6:01:42 PM

Minister of Finance, Rod Phillips,with his new Budget shoes, presented a long awaited 2020 Budget entitled Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support and Recover. He also introduced legislation to implement Budget measures and to amend and repeal various acts (details on this will be the subject of a separate blog post as it is another omnibus measure).


The Budget was built around three themes: protect, support and recover and provides a three-year outlook with a few scenarios of what Ontario’s fiscal situation could look like. Ontario is projecting a $38.5 billion deficit for 2020-2021, as a result of COVID-19.

AMCTO member and municipal interests

As announced Wednesday, the government is making additional investments to support broadband infrastructure projects through ICON. Also as previously announced, the government committed to a $500 million funding envelope for OMPF in 2021.

Of particular note for the municipal sector and our members, included in the 2020 budget are the following:

  • Commiting to $150 million to support tourism expenses incurred by Ontarians as they explore Ontario on 'staycation' - something that could inject money into local economies.

  • Investing $100 million over two years to develop a Community Building Fund to support various tourism, culture and sport organizations and providing one-time funding to arts institutions to help cover operating losses. It appears that municipalities (among others) would be eligible to use funding for infrastructure rehabilitation and renovation, in order to meet public health protocols and local community needs.  

  • Launching of Inclusive Community Grants Program Ontario with $2 million over two years to create wrap-around community-based services. Municipalities and local organizations would be eligible for this funding.

  • Proposing changes to property tax assessment for some businesses, responding to requests from some local governments and a commitment to explore a provincial match to these reductions. According to the Budget document, this would give small businesses as much as $385 million in total municipal and provincial property tax relief by 2022-2023, depending on municipal adoption.
    •  In 2021, municipalities will have the ability to reduce property taxes for certain small businesses via a new 'small business' property tax class.

  • Considering amendments to the Assessment Act as announced in 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review:
    • Looking at new assessment tools for re-development areas to assist small businesses in areas where there may high speculation resulting in increases in property valuations.
    • Reviewing MPAC methodologies to "identify potential options to enhance the accuracy and transparency of these assessment methodologies, resulting in greater stability and fewer appeals.”
    • Reviewing the information-sharing process between MPAC and large property owners “with the goal of enhancing the accuracy of assessments.” 

  • Lowering Business Education Tax (BET) rates for over 200,000 employers, or 94% of all business properties in Ontario, to a rate of 0.88%, which is said to allow for $450 million in immediate annual savings.
Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover News Release
2020 Ontario Budget


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