Federal Budget Proposes Permanent Gas Tax Revenue Sharing For Municipalities



    TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - AMO President Doug Reycraft applauded the 2008
Federal Budget commitment to make the Federal Gas Tax permanent and to invest
an additional $500 million in public transit infrastructure across Canada.
    "Municipal infrastructure is a cornerstone of the national economy," said
Doug Reycraft, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
"Investing in the municipal infrastructure that keeps our economy competitive
is a much needed investment in the prosperity of our communities and our
nation."
    The 2008 Federal Budget, tabled in the House of Commons today by Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty, would make the federal gas tax revenue sharing of
approximately $750 million a year a permanent source of infrastructure funding
for Ontario's municipal governments. This amount reflects the equivalent of
5 cents a litre. No escalator mechanism was included in today's announcement.
    The Budget also sets aside up to $500 million in support of capital
investments to improve public transit across Canada for construction ready
projects. The budget also sets aside $400 million for a police officers
recruitment fund to encourage the hiring of 2,500 new police officers
nationwide. The Budget would also extend GST relief to land leased to situate
wind- or solar-power equipment for the production of electricity.
    "Safe and efficient transportation networks and environmentally
sustainable infrastructure are critical to attracting investment to our
communities and to Canada," said Reycraft. Investing in municipal
infrastructure is a prudent choice that will generate strong returns for
taxpayers and communities alike."
    This permanent funding is in addition to the Building Canada Fund
commitment made in last year's Federal Budget that would result in
approximately $3.2 billion for municipal infrastructure projects in Ontario
over the next seven years.

    AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's
445 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal
government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a
vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.





For further information:

For further information: Pat Vanini, AMO Executive Director, (416)
971-9856, ext. 316 or (416) 729-4394; Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, (416)
729-5425


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