March 2020
Ontario Releases 2020 Fiscal Update

2020-03-25 7:27:32 PM

This afternoon, Finance Minister Rod Phillips released the provincial government’s 2020 fiscal update, Ontario’s Action Plan 2020: Responding to COVID-19.

The fiscal update totals $17 billion that will go to support the healthcare system, the economy, and Ontarians amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Of that $17 billion, $10 billion will be spent in tax and other deferrals and $7 billion in new spending.

The spending would put the provincial deficit at $20.5 billion, which is an increase from the 6.1 billion projected in the 2019 budget.

The update also projects a 0 percent increase in real GDP for 2020 and a 2 percent increase for 2021.
A full budget will be released by November 15th, 2020.

Major highlights from the update include:

  • A one-time payment to families of $200 per child up to 12 years old, and $250 for children with special needs to help offset costs related to school and child care closures

  • Temporarily doubling the Employer Health Tax Exemption resulting in a $355 million cut in business taxes

  • $1.2 billion to the children’s and social services sector, including $600 million of annual funding to the Ontario Autism Program

  • Doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System support for low-income seniors for 6 months

Below are relevant items for Ontario’s local governments:

  • A total of $3.3 billion will be invested into the health care sector with $2.2 billion dedicated to COVID-19, including:

    • Investing $935 million to the hospital sector, with $594 million to increasing capacity and $341 million providing an additional 1,000 acute care beds, 500 critical care beds, and 25 assessment centers at hospitals

    • Investing $243 million in long-term care homes to increase their emergency capacity

    • Increasing public health funding by $160 million to identify and contain COVID-19, such as increasing capacity for home and laboratory testing

    • ​Investing $80 million for ambulance and paramedic services

    • Investing $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to front-line staff

    • A $1 billion contingency fund for the sector on any emerging needs related to COVID19

  • Increasing funding by $148 million for charitable and non-profit social services organizations

    • This includes food banks, homeless shelters, and emergency services

  • Maintaining the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF).
    (Corrected - the original note referenced a reduction but that was merely an error on the difference to date between the provincial and municipal fiscal years.)

  • Introducing a Regional Opportunities Investment Tax that will give businesses a 10% refundable tax credit for certain investments made in regions outside of Ottawa and the Greater Golden Horseshoe

  • Postponing the 2021 planned property tax reassessment. Assessments for the 2021 taxation year will continue to be based on the same valuation date that was in effect for 2020.

  • Deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days. The government says this will allow municipalities to provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses whilst ensuring school boards receive their funding.

For more information, please see below:

Ontario’s Action Plan 2020: Responding to COVID-19

News Release: Ontario's Action Plan - Responding to COVID-19



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