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Ontario housing bill to short municipalities by $5 billion: AMO

TORONTO — The Association of Municipalities of Ontario says provincial housing legislation could leave communities short $5 billion  –and taxpayers may have to foot the bill, either in the form of higher property taxes or service cuts.

The advocacy group says it was denied the opportunity to present at a legislative committee considering a bill that, among other measures, would freeze, reduce and exempt fees developers pay in order to spur building.

Those fees go to municipalities to pay for services for residents of those homes, such as roads, community centres and transit.

AMO’s executive director calls it “surprising” that the group advocating for municipalities couldn’t present its concerns to the committee, but AMO has detailled its concerns in a written submission, including estimates of the financial cost.

AMO says its preliminary analysis shows that the legislation would cut $5.1 billion in funding to municipalities for servicing new developments.

Executive director Brian Rosborough says despite some early suggestions from the government that some funding might be available to make up for municipalities’ lost revenue, the association hasn’t heard anything concrete.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press