News Cuts to Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund could mean tax increases for rural communities SHARE ON: Phil McCabe, contributor, Monday, Dec. 31st, 2018 Communities across the province are looking into what options lie ahead following a funding review. According to a letter sent out by the Minister of Finance sent out earlier this month, the Government of Ontario is reworking the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund to help skirt the costs of “the province’s mounting debt.” Algonquin Highlands Mayor, Carol Moffatt, details on Facebook that the letter says “the growth in transfer payments and other provincial supports are key contributors to the province’s mounting debt. Getting this spending under control is why we are undertaking a detailed review of all transfer payments, including those to municipalities.” This letter comes a month after the Finance Minister and the Minister of Municipal Affairs unveiled the allocation of funds for each of the 389 municipalities receiving funding through the provincial initiative. Moffatt says in her Facebook post, “The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) provides much-needed funds to help municipalities operate. It uses an equalization approach to address the challenges faced by rural communities like ours. When funding streams are reduced, Councils have two choices: increase property taxes or reduce services. Most folks already feel they don’t get much for their taxes,” she goes on to say in the letter, the province noted it would like to return the OMPF to what it was originally intended for, support for rural and northern communities.