"Ontario housing legislation could leave communities short $5 billion and see taxpayers footing the bill, either in the form of higher property taxes or service cuts, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario said last week. The municipalities’ advocacy organization, as well as other municipal groups have all asked the government to eliminate or pause sections of the bill that would freeze, reduce and exempt fees developers pay in order to spur building. Bill 23, titled the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 is part of a long-term strategy to provide attainable housing options for families across Ontario, and is seen by many in the building industry as a generational shift in municipal land use planning law. This Bill would not need procedural feedback from groups like Conservation Authorities and would do away with public meetings. Strathroy-Caradoc Ward One Councillor John Brennan says this is all going in the wrong direction.
AMO said Thursday that it was denied the opportunity to present at a legislative committee considering the bill, a move it called “surprising” but detailed its concerns in a written submission, including estimates of the financial cost.
The bill would shift costs from developers to municipalities based on a “faulty assumption” that savings will be passed on to homeowners and renters, AMO wrote. Its preliminary analysis shows that the legislation would cut $5.1 billion in funding to municipalities over the next nine years.
If the bill passes as written, the loss in municipal revenue will either mean significant increases to property taxes or cuts to existing services and job cuts, said AMO president Colin Best.
The government is putting the interests of developers ahead of municipalities.
written by: C. Soares"