Federal government is going to send some of the gas tax revenue they have back to the municipalities.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 21st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The federal budget that was introduced on Wednesday in the House of Commons doesn’t get treated as top of the page new by most people.

The people at city hall found themselves paying attention when they learned that the gas tax the federal government gives the city usually has strings attached to it – this time the gas tax total was bumped up by $5.6 million – which covers a lot of infrastructure repair and upgrading.

This was good news for the City of Burlington

Yesterday’s federal budget included municipal top-up funding to support local infrastructure priorities. The City of Burlington will benefit from the one-time doubling of the Federal Gas Tax funding, which will result in an extra $5.6 million for infrastructure.

Infrastructure - Mainteance

This is where infrastructure money has been spent in the past. The federal funding will certainly help.

Federal Gas Tax funding can be used in eligible categories including productivity and economic growth through areas such as roads, bridges or public transit, clean environment initiatives such as community energy systems or strong cities and communities via sport, recreation, culture, tourism or disaster mitigation.

City staff will bring a report to the Monday, April 1 Committee of the Whole meeting at 1 p.m. with recommended projects related to this.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has been speaking with federal colleagues and confirmed that Burlington will get that additional $5.6 million in one-time funding and that it will be free of the usual restrictions we see from Gas Tax cash payments.

“This funding can be spent on infrastructure, on our roads, transit, brownfield redevelopment, sports, tourism and disaster mitigation, to name a few. City staff will begin working on a report to lay out the best uses for these funds for Council’s consideration.”

There is an opportunity here for citizens to float some of their ideas on what can be done with that additional $5.6 million. Don’t leave it up to city hall stuff to come up with the ideas. It’s your city – let both your council member and the Interim city manager how you would like to see those dollars spent – that’s was being engaged is all about.

Affordable-Housing

The chances of affordable housing in Burlington looking like this are slim – land costs are just too high. The city is going to have to think in terms of high rise – something in the order of 7 to 11 storeys.

Mayor Meed Ward is “getting more details around the proposed $300 million to launch a Housing Supply Challenge that encourages municipalities to come up with innovative ways to grow its housing supply. She wants to make sure Burlington has access to these funds and adds that this “will certainly help us meet the growing need of affordable housing in our city.”

Real citizenship engagement:
There is an opportunity here for citizens to float some of their ideas on what can be done with that additional $5.6 million.

Don’t leave it up to city hall staff to come up with the ideas. It’s your city – let both your council member and the Interim city manager how you would like to see those dollars spent – that’s was being engaged is all about.

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4 comments to Federal government is going to send some of the gas tax revenue they have back to the municipalities.

  • Ben Tuinman

    Resurface some more of the badly maintained roads within the City. Some of our roads look like those in third world countries, and aggravate motorists daily. Also create traffic circles, wherever possible ! And bus bays along major routes. Wow, you got me going….. 😉

  • Alfred

    Connor. This new Council with the exception of 2 councilors have no interest in eliminating new low density, single-detached housing. In fact 80% of the City is low density and this council wants only single family homes on large lots there. They absolutely want no new high-density developments. The mayor wanted a highrise in the downtown to be a maximum 12 stories. The OMB gave the developers 26 stories. How could she be so far off the mark. Housing in Burlington is dictated and mandated by the Provincial Government. That hands down instructions to be followed by the Municipalities. It appears this council may have deliberate trouble following the guidelines. They don’t want to build in the Greenbelt,but they don’t want to build in the City either. The have no alternative plans or ideas that I have seen.Your thoughts on development make sense and would be great for the community. But not for those looking to get re-elected. In Burlington nimbys rule. The previous councilors found out the hard way the last election. At this point investing the gas tax money in lottery tickets would make more sense.

  • Connor Fraser

    Because this money originally came from the gas tax, would it not make sense to re-invest it into sustainability initiatives in our community, for example more public transit routes or community gardens? An even better idea would be to re-distribute the federal pool of income to communities based on a ‘weighted scheme’ for example, where municipalities that comply with certain sustainable development goals set by the federal government (such as eliminating new low density, single-detached housing developments and encouraging new high-density housing development where transit, school, grocery store are in walking distance) would receive proportionally more transfer payment then their less progressive neighbors. This would also encourage competition between municipalities to implement these goals as fast as possible.

  • Alfred

    Give it back to the taxpayers. At best there are 2 councilors that have experience that I feel would have any idea on what to do with that much money. Money in government hands is money lost.

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