WATCH: Fees collected from drivers send Ontario service charge revenues to new heights
An early look at Ontario's finances for the past year shows the government is on track to collect almost $3 billion in service fees for the fiscal year that ends later this month.
That's up 8 per cent, compared to the year before.
The 5-year trend has been for growth in revenues around 6.5 per cent.
Data from finance watchdogs at the Queen's Park suggests most of that money is coming out of the pockets of drivers.
On Tuesday, Ontario's Financial Accountability Office released a background report that finds a 12 per cent increase compared to last year in fees collected for renewing vehicle license plate stickers and driver's licenses.
That's 2 percent more than the recent trend.
WATCH: @jamesontheradio says drivers in Ontario paid $1.7 billion in registration fees last year to maintain roads & highways. Do you think you’re getting good value for your money? pic.twitter.com/sqZamM1fjE— NEWSTALK1010 (@NEWSTALK1010) March 6, 2018
This comes in spite of changes to Ontario laws last spring that make it so that drivers with certain outstanding fines are not allowed to renew their plates.
Fees for plate sticker renewals have gone up by 10 percent in 6 of the last 7 years, and so has revenue.
The FAO finds that driver and vehicle registration brings in more user fees than any other of the 5 public service sectors studied.
Last year, that service fee revenue accounted for $1.7 billion of a total of $2.7 billion.
In other words, drivers contribute about 64 cents of every user fee dollar given to the government.
The provincial government charges service fees to cover some or all of the cost of providing a public service.
For example, the money collected by the Ministry of Transportation is used to build and maintain the highways, and bridges drivers use -- along with the employees and infrastructure needed to enforce the rules of the road.
Estimates for 2017-18 are that revenue from vehicle and driver licensing will cover 85 per cent of costs.
The report says there is an implication that, "the Province could continue to increase vehicle and driver registration fees if it intends to fully recover the cost of the service."