Ottawa – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo today highlighted new flexibility to the Gas Tax Fund (GTF).
“As part of the New Building Canada Plan, the renewed federal Gas Tax Fund provides predictable, long-term, stable funding for Canadian municipalities to help them build and revitalize their local public infrastructure,” said McLeod. “As of April 1, communities will be able to put the renewed Gas Tax Fund towards a wider range of projects, which means they will have even more flexibility in the types of projects they fund.”
Currently, communities can put the federal GTF towards the following eligible categories: public transit; wastewater infrastructure; drinking water; solid waste management; community energy systems; local roads and bridges.
In addition to the above, communities will now be able to use the federal GTF towards: highways; local and regional airports; short-line rail; short-sea shipping; disaster mitigation; broadband and connectivity; brownfield redevelopment; culture; tourism; sport and recreation.
The federal GTF program was originally designed to provide municipalities with $5 billion in predictable funding over five years. Our Government has made significant improvements to the GTF. It has been extended and doubled from $1 billion to $2 billion annually, and legislated as a permanent source of federal infrastructure funding for municipalities. As announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, the renewed federal GTF is being indexed at two per cent per year, to be applied in $100 million increments, which means that it will grow by $1.8 billion over the next decade.
Funding is provided up front, twice-a-year, to provinces and territories, who in turn allocate this funding to their municipalities to support local infrastructure priorities. Municipalities can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility.