: Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF)

 

2015 OMPF

Overview

The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) is the Province’s main transfer payment to municipalities. 

In 2015, the Province will provide a total of $515 million in unconditional funding to 388 municipalities through the OMPF. This funding, combined with the municipal benefit resulting from the provincial uploads, will total over $2.2 billion in 2015 - more than three and a half times the level of funding provided in 2004.

Provincial Uploads and OMPF Phase-Down

In 2012, the government announced the review of the OMPF and the phase-down of the program to $500 million by 2016.  The phase-down of the OMPF was part of the 2008 Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review (PMFSDR) agreement to upload social assistance benefit programs and court security and prisoner transportation costs off the property tax base.

Despite the adjustment to the program, overall support provided to municipalities will continue to increase, with the provincial uploads more than offsetting the reduction to the program.

Summary of Combined Provincial Support 2013-2016 ($ Millions)
Year
2013
2014
2015
2016
Provincial Uploads*
1,368 1,560 1,705 1,830
OMPF**
575 550 515 500
Combined Support 1,943 2,110 2,220 2,330
* Based on updated information and projections
** Confirmed in the 2014 Ontario Budget

OMPF Review and Redesign

The redesigned OMPF was introduced in 2014 following consultations with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and municipal representatives from across the province. The program is comprised of four core grant components that reflect the following objectives:  

  • continuing to support areas with limited property assessment;
  • continuing to recognize the challenges of northern and rural municipalities, while targeting funding to those with more challenging fiscal circumstances; and
  • assisting municipalities as they transition to the redesigned program.

A new grant component was announced as part of the redesigned program – the Northern and Rural Fiscal Circumstances Grant. This grant component was introduced in recognition that not all northern and rural municipalities are the same. The differences in the fiscal circumstances of these municipalities are recognized through this grant, which provides additional, targeted support to eligible municipalities based on their northern and rural Municipal Fiscal Circumstances Index (MFCI).

2015 OMPF

Over the past year, the Ministry of Finance has continued to consult with AMO and other municipal representatives on how to best support municipalities through the program as the OMPF phases down. These discussions have informed the design of the 2015 program.

In the Province’s discussions with municipalities, two key recommendations emerged with respect to the program design:

  1. Funding should be further targeted to municipalities with the greatest needs; and
  2. The design of the program should ensure a manageable pace of change.

As a result, the 2015 OMPF has been designed to balance these recommendations by increasing targeted support to those municipalities with the most challenging fiscal circumstances, while continuing to provide a significant amount of transitional assistance.

Funding provided through the Northern and Rural Fiscal Circumstances Grant will begin to increase in order to further target support to those municipalities with the most challenging fiscal circumstances. Compared to 2014, these municipalities will receive an increase of more than 30 per cent in per household funding allocated through this grant.   

In addition, the significant amount of Transitional Assistance will provide municipalities with stability as they adjust to the redesigned program. This funding will ensure that municipalities receive a guaranteed level of support based on their 2014 OMPF allocation. Municipalities in the north will receive at least 90 per cent of their 2014 OMPF allocation, while municipalities in other regions of the province will receive at least 80 per cent.

These minimum levels of support will be enhanced, up to 100 per cent, for eligible northern and rural municipalities with more challenging fiscal circumstances, as measured by the MFCI.

2015 Provincial Uploads

The Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review (PMFSDR) was completed in 2008. This review set out a new approach to the funding and delivery of services in Ontario and represents a significant milestone in the provincial–municipal partnership.

In 2015, the Province will continue to deliver on its commitment in accordance with the timetable agreed to through the PMFSDR by:

  • continuing the phased upload of Ontario Works (OW) benefits; and
  • continuing the phased upload of court security and prisoner transportation costs (up to $125 million annually at maturity).

This builds on the government’s previous uploads of:

  • Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) costs in 2008;
  • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) administration costs in 2009; and
  • ODSP benefits, completed in 2011.

Furthermore, the Province will provide more than $230 million in additional support of municipal OW administration costs.

As a result of the uploads, 380 municipalities will see an estimated benefit of over $1.7 billion in 2015.

2015 Upload Benefit to Municipalities
Program 2015
ODB Upload $219 million
ODSP Administration $85 million
ODSP Benefits $828 million
OW Benefits (57% uploaded in 2015) $266 million
Court Security and Prisoner Transportation (57% uploaded in 2015) $71 million
OW Administration additional support $234 million
Total Upload Benefit $1.7 billion
Note: OW administration continues to be cost shared on a 50:50 basis between the Province and municipalities. Beginning in 2011, OW administration costs reflect a revised funding approach which will provide more than $230 million to municipalities in additional support of these costs in 2015.

2015 Combined Benefit

Since 2009, support provided to municipalities has been calculated as a combination of both the OMPF and provincial uploads.

In 2015, the Province will provide municipalities with a combined benefit of over $2.2 billion — more than three and a half times the level of funding provided in 2004. The combined benefit includes:

  • OMPF support of $515 million; and
  • The upload of over $1.7 billion in social assistance benefit programs and court security and prisoner transportation costs.
2015 Combined Benefit Compared to Prior Years
  2004 2014 2015
A. CRF/OMPF
$618 million $550 million $515 million
B. Provincial Uploads
  $1.5 billion $1.7 billion
Combined Benefit (A + B) $618 million $2.1 billion $2.2 billion
Year-over-Year Increase $110 million
Increase Since 2004 $1.6 billion

Ongoing Support to Municipalities

The Province will provide municipalities with ongoing support of over $3.7 billion in 2015 — an increase of $2.6 billion from the level provided in 2003.

For 2015, the total ongoing provincial support, in addition to the combined benefit of OMPF and uploads, includes:

  • $499 million in funding to support 50:50 cost sharing of  land ambulance costs;
  • $564 million in public health funding, which includes the upload of public health costs from a provincial share of 50 per cent to 75 per cent;
  • $321 million in provincial gas tax funding for the 2014–15 program year; and
  • $100 million in annual funding to small, northern and rural municipalities through the new permanent Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF).

By 2016, the Province will have increased ongoing support to municipalities to $3.8 billion a year — an increase of more than 250 per cent compared to 2003.

Ongoing Suppport to Municipalities Continues to Increase $1.1 billion in 2003 - $3.8 billion by 2016

Source: PMFSDR: “Facing the Future Together” (2008). Adjusted to reflect: OW administration funding model announced in 2011; phase-out of Toronto Pooling Compensation; OMPF phase down (2014 Ontario Budget); permanent, annual $100M Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund announced 2014; and updated projections.

Additional Information
For additional information or for other general inquiries about the program, email your query and contact information to: info.ompf@ontario.ca.

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