MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Bill Irwin

Geographical Areas

Ontario, Colorado, Washington


In Canada, it is estimated that the total value of core municipal infrastructure is over $1.1 trillion dollars or about $80,000 per household. Of this value one-third is in poor or very poor condition which increases the risk of service disruption. Municipalities are struggling to fund these infrastructure renewal needs with limited revenue tools. Property taxes remain the largest source of revenue for Canadian municipalities but are currently insufficient to meet their long-term needs. Municipalities in Ontario have been advocating for additional revenue tools to address this challenge. This paper uses a common set of evaluation criteria to analyze three potential revenue options to assist Ontario municipalities in funding their long-term infrastructure needs. These include a 1% increase to the provincial portion of the HST, the uploading of the education tax to create local property tax room, and the sharing of cannabis excise tax revenues with municipalities. The results of this analysis are compared to determine which of the proposed funding tools would best meet the needs of municipalities in addressing the infrastructure funding challenge.