Gas Tax Fund doubles for municipalities, $13M extra coming to Windsor

Windsor will get an extra $13 million for infrastructure projects.

Wrapped into the federal Liberals' budget, announced Tuesday, is a proposed one-time increase of $2.2 billion to the federal Gas Tax Fund. 

The fund provides money up front to provinces and territories, who then pass that funding on to municipalities. The $2.2 billion increase doubles the commitment from the federal government. 

In 2017-2018, Windsor received almost $13 million from the GTF. For 2018-2019, it was close to $13.5 million.

Chief Administrative Officer Onorio Colucci said the city welcomes the announcement.

"It was unexpected," said Colucci. "We'll have to decide how to use these funds if the money does materialize."

Angelica Haggert/CBC

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario administers the GTF in this province. Municipalities must report back on what projects they used the funding for. AMO uses population to determine how much funding goes to each municipality, so cities know in advance what they'll receive. 

According AMO, the doubling could be considered a "top-up." Municipalities will get their original expected payment, then receive a second payment once the federal funding has been released to AMO. For 2019-20, Windsor was expecting a total payment of $13,177,322.

Windsor GTF projects in 2017

Windsor used money from the Gas Tax Fund for a number of projects in 2017:

  • Building condition assessments: $55,000
  • Rehabilitation of four bridges: $1,624,500
  • Development of cycling network: $302,500
  • Sidewalk rehabilitation in multiple locations: $97,600
  • Road reconstruction and rehabilitation of multiple streets: $6,684,136
  • Rehabilitation of bridges city wide: $1,278,500
  • Pavement rehabilitation in multiple locations: $391,800
  • Traffic signal system upgrades: $239,500
  • Transit Windsor fleet replacement: $89,500

The annual report detailing projects from 2018 was not available.

As for 2019 projects, "We have to get together as an administration and recommend something to council," Colucci said.

"There are many needs, like any municipality. There's things like roads and bridges. We've often used the funding for those types of expenditures. But there's also public transit, airports, solid waste. It's fairly broad."

The municipal budget is set to be discussed April 1 and 2."There's no shortage of potential projects it could be used for," said Colucci. "It will allow us to recommend some projects that wouldn't have been possible."