On April 23rd, Finance Minister Charles Sousa released the 2015 Ontario Budget. The budget focused on four key initiatives; investment in infrastructure, the support of skills and training, the creation of a more innovative and dynamic business climate and the provision of income security in retirement.
The Ontario Government is projecting a deficit of $8.5 billion in 2015-16, with a deficit of $4.8 billion forecast for 2016-17, and a balanced budget by 2017-18.
There were no changes to Ontario tax rates for individuals or corporations, however, it is important to note that as a result of the federal budget changes, the combined Ontario and federal small business income tax rate will decrease between 2015 and 2019. As well, Ontario and federal personal tax rates for non-eligible dividends will increase between 2015 and 2019.
Other key highlights include:
- Increasing the dedicated funds for Moving Ontario Forward by $2.6 billion for a total of $31.5 billion over 10 years — about $16 billion in transit projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and about $15 billion available for transportation and other priority infrastructure projects outside the GTHA.
- A planned investment of $11.9 billion in 2015-16 on infrastructure such as roads, bridges, public transit, water systems, hospitals and schools.
- Broadening Hydro One ownership to create lasting public benefits and ongoing public and ratepayer protections.
- Investing an additional $250 million over two years in the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, bringing the total investment in youth employment programming to more than $565 million.
To read more about the 2015 Ontario Budget, click here