In Budget 2019, the Government of Canada announced that it will increase its investment in the Gas Tax Fund (GTF) by $2.2 billion in 2019-20. This one-time increase will effectively double the GTF in 2019, compared to last year. The exact amount that Alberta will receive in 2019 is not yet known but AUMA estimates it to be at least $460 million.
While the total funding will double, it is not yet clear on how this will impact Alberta’s individual municipalities. Alberta allocates GTF to each municipality on a per capita basis with a minimum allocation of $50,000 per year, except for summer villages which receive a base allocation of $5,000 per year plus a per capita amount.
AUMA is currently seeking clarification from Alberta Municipal Affairs on how the 2019 top-up of GTF will be allocated. In particular, we are attempting to understand whether funding will increase for small communities that historically receive the minimum allocation of $50,000 per year. We will share details of our findings in a future issue of Digest.
Municipalities should also expect that the transfer of GTF funding will be delayed until the province approves its 2019 budget. For more information about how the 2019 federal budget supports municipalities, please visit our website or these FCM 2019 Federal Budget Backgrounder and Analysis documents.