08/15/2017 08:45 EDT | Updated 08/15/2017 09:01 EDT

Wynne rejects idea of raising taxes to pay for infrastructure

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she will not consider a proposal to raise the provincial sales tax to help municipalities pay for infrastructure.

The idea came from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, which is holding its annual conference in Ottawa.

The association says local governments are facing a shortfall of $4.9 billion a year over the next decade, money it says is needed to maintain and build roads, bridges and transit.

The association says property taxes can't fill the gap and called on the Liberal government to raise the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax one percentage point to nine per cent.

Wynne rejected the proposal, saying she would not consider an idea that would make it harder for Ontario residents to make ends meet.

She says the government has already committed to billions of dollars of infrastructure spending that should help in the coming years, but says she's open to further discussions with the municipalities to find out more about their specific concerns.