The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) has released a report highlighting Ontario service fees in 2019-20. This report provides information on the Province’s 1,200+ service fees, including service fee rate changes in 2019-20, service fee revenue sources and growth rates, and an analysis of the government’s commitment to increase the online delivery of services.
In 2019-20, the Province changed 293 service fee rates, including 235 fee increases, two fee decreases, five new fees and 51 eliminated fees. More than half of the fee rate increases exceeded the rate of inflation.
In 2018-19, the Province raised $7.1 billion in service fee revenue. The largest sources of service fee revenue were vehicle and driver registration fees ($2.0 billion), international college student tuition fees ($1.4 billion), domestic college student tuition fees ($0.9 billion) and hospital fees ($0.9 billion).
In April 2019, the Province announced that it will move 10 million ServiceOntario transactions away from in-person delivery to online delivery over the next five years. This is an ambitious goal given that online transactions increased by only 0.8 million over the last three years (an increase of 26 per cent). An additional 10 million online transactions over the next five years would represent an increase of up to 266 per cent.
• The 235 service fee rate increases in 2019-20 were more than double the number of rate increases in 2018-19.
• From 2015-16 to 2018-19, the Province’s service fee revenue grew by an average of 8.9 per cent each year, driven by increases in colleges fee revenue (18.0 per cent average annual growth) and vehicle and driver registration fee revenue (8.4 per cent average annual growth).
• The most used service fee in 2018-19 was Highway 407 East tolls with 12.2 million transactions generating $51.6 million in revenue.
• Although online services are less expensive to deliver than in-person services, ServiceOntario only provides an online discount for its business-related fees, which are 25 per cent lower, on average, than in-person or mail transactions.