Review of discounted fees for municipal programs and services
The City currently provides two types of discounts to the community, one based on income and the other based on age.
Income-based discounts are provided through the Municipal Fee Assistance Program.
To qualify for these discounts each year, residents must show that they live in Kingston and provide proof of income.
Age-based discounts for Kingston Transit, recreation and other municipal programs are provided to residents aged 18 to 24 and those 65 and older, regardless of their household income.
The City is reviewing discounted fees for municipal programs and services to explore options to eliminate age-based discounted fees and implement only income-based discounts for municipal programs and services. Moving to solely income-based discounts aims to address affordability and to ensure those in the community living in lower-income households have the ability to access programs and services.
Goals of the proposed changes to discount program:
- Increase access to discounts for those living in poverty in the community
- Target discounts to those in greatest financial need in the community
- Make the discounts easier to access while ensuring accountability
- Lessen the financial impact of the aging population on municipal taxpayers
City staff has put together proposed changes that would allow the City to focus on expanding income-based discounts. The City is seeking public input on how best to implement the income-based discount model, specifically:
- What household income level should make a resident eligible to receive discounted fees for municipal programs and services?
- How do we make the process to receive the discounts user-friendly?
My Kingston Information
The My Kingston (Municipal Fee Assistance Program) offers access to these City programs to help residents who live in lower-income households get around Kingston to lead active and healthy lives:
- The Affordable Transit Pass - access to a renewable reduced-cost monthly transit pass. In 2017, the 50 per cent discount is valid for the remainder of the calendar year after approval. Rates for the affordable monthly transit passes in 2017 are: $38.00 for Adults, $28.25 for Youth and Seniors.
- The Transit Employment Program - provides recently hired Kingston residents (part-time or full-time) with a free two month Kingston Transit pass for those who need assistance getting to and from work. For more information on this program please call 613-546-2695 ext. 4906
- SPARK (The Subsidy Program for Affordable Recreation in Kingston) - reduces the cost of City-run recreation and leisure programs for Kingston residents of all ages. Funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis until the annual budget has been spent. Participants can register for programs, memberships or one-time passes and the cost of the program will be electronically deducted from the participant's approved amount. View available programs and membership options in the Recreation & Leisure Guide or on the recreation programs page.
- Grand Theatre Presents offers discounted tickets to My Kingston members. Tickets are $15.00 for any performance except KidStage shows which are $8.00, depending on availability. There is a limit of 8 tickets per household, per season. Other guidelines apply, for complete details visit the Grand Theatre website or call 613-530-2050.
- Responsible Pet Ownership: The City wants to ensure that everyone who has a pet in Kingston is a Responsible Pet Owner. You may be eligible for a $250 voucher to have your pet spayed or neutered with the Municipal Fee Assistance program.
Applications are available at:
- City Hall, 216 Ontario St
- Kingston Frontenac Public Library (any branch)
- Artillery Park Aquatic Centre, 382 Bagot St
- Housing and Social Services, 362 Montreal St.
- INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd.
This funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the annual amount of program funding is spent.
How to Apply
Eligibility sessions to review Municipal Fee Assistance applications begin in January of each year. After reviewing the MFAP Information & Instruction Guide, bring your completed application and required identification (as outlined on the application) to Community Services, 362 Montreal St. at one of these times:
- Monday - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Tuesday - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Wednesday* - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Thursday - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
* This facility closes at noon one Wednesday per month. Please contact the office for further information 613-546-2695, ext. 4906.
The City uses Statistics Canada after tax Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) for Kingston to determine eligibility. Households with income below this threshold are eligible for:
- 50% Affordable Transit Pass discount
- $300 recreation subsidies per household member
- $250 pet vouchers for spaying/neutering
- Transit Employment program (based on referrals from Employment Ontario offices)
LICO thresholds for 2017 MFAP:
- 1 person household - $17,240
- 2 person household - $20,982
- 3 person household - $26,128
- 4 person household - $32,596
- 5 person household - $37,118
- 6 person household - $41,165
- 7+ person household - $45,211