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Canada Chris Selley: John Tory's property tax hike is necessary, overdue, and thoroughly disreputable

10:25  14 december  2019
10:25  14 december  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

Your Toronto tax bill is likely going up, as Mayor John Tory backs city building fund boost

  Your Toronto tax bill is likely going up, as Mayor John Tory backs city building fund boost Toronto property tax bills will be going up in 2020 to help pay for public transit repairs and more affordable housing. Tory is backing a plan, revealed Wednesday, that would continue the property tax levy for six more years starting in 2020. The fund, which currently sits at 0.5 per cent, will also go up to 1.5 per cent in 2020 and 2021.In a news release, Tory's office said this will cost the average Toronto household some $43 a year.City council still has to approve the increase, but it's likely safe to start budgeting for the hike now as Tory usually controls the balance of power on council.

On Tuesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory takes the biggest swing of his term in office. City councillors will be asked to approve a one per cent property tax levy in 2020 and 2021, in addition to an existing 0.5 per cent previously approved, and a new 1.5 per cent levy from 2022 to 2025.

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John Tory wearing a suit and tie: At every chance he got, Toronto mayor John Tory would insist property taxes are simply the wrong pool from which to draw for big-time infrastructure projects — knowing full well no other pools were available.© Ernest Doroszuk/Postmedia At every chance he got, Toronto mayor John Tory would insist property taxes are simply the wrong pool from which to draw for big-time infrastructure projects — knowing full well no other pools were available.

On Tuesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory takes the biggest swing of his term in office. City councillors will be asked to approve a one per cent property tax levy in 2020 and 2021, in addition to an existing 0.5 per cent previously approved, and a new 1.5 per cent levy from 2022 to 2025. That’s in addition to regular annual property tax hikes, which under Tory have been kept at or below the rate of inflation — that being a central promise of both his successful election campaigns. The extra money, projected to be $6.6 billion, goes into the so-called City Building Fund, a ring-fenced account created in 2015 to fund transit, housing and other critical infrastructure needs.

Ontario Conservatives propose conduct code for every party member, sparking concerns over freedom to speak

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The Comptroller' s Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) publishes this list not later than Dec. 31 of each year, as required. An * by the taxing unit name in the spreadsheet indicates that the appraisal district did not respond to the survey conducted by the Property Tax Assistance Division.

Mayor John Tory is poised to unveil his first draft city budget on Tuesday, which will include a property tax hike no higher than 3%, including a 0.5 The improvements, some of which riders will notice in a matter of weeks, were “long overdue and absolutely necessary for the social and economic well

Tory’s brand has always combined low property taxes — lowest in the GTA — with transformational city-building. Perhaps there are cities where that might work. Those cities would have other ways to raise huge sums of money: sales taxes or road pricing, say. Toronto is not one of those cities.

Once upon a time, Tory secured permission from premier Kathleen Wynne to toll the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway; Wynne reneged in hopes of saving Liberal seats in the 905. (It did not work.) It is taken as read that no party at Queen’s Park would ever contemplate allowing a municipal sales tax. None of the “revenue tools” Toronto has at its disposal can produce the kinds of sums necessary to build the big, heavy, monumentally expensive things the city needs.

Kelly McParland: Tory finally admits Toronto has to take care of itself

  Kelly McParland: Tory finally admits Toronto has to take care of itself Kelly McParland: Tory finally admits Toronto has to take care of itself In the Toronto mayor’s case, he was unquestionably reversing course on one of his most oft-repeated pledges, but for pragmatic and defensible reasons. Making the pledge in the first place was the flimflam: a bad promise made for base political gain by a man who is too intelligent not to have appreciated its flaws. Backtracking on it is nothing to applaud from the integrity point of view, but the end result is in the best interests of his city.

Share this story. Chris Selley : John Tory ' s anti- tax message threatens his John Tory is not the sort of politician people vote for rapturously. I have never seen anyone swoon in his presence. He proudly tacked his city building fund onto your property tax bill. He successfully lobbied city council to toll the

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“You know I have not made this recommendation lightly,” Tory wrote to his executive committee, which approved the move unanimously, “but you also know that this funding is absolutely needed. It is the only way given the limited current tools available to us and the current political climate, that we can raise the billions of dollars we need to invest in the future of this city.”

Tory’s opponents on the left are pleased, in an exasperated sort of way. I feel the same way. The conclusion to which Tory has come has been obvious forever. Consider: Much of that $6.6 billion will simply go toward state of good repair at the Toronto Transit Commission and Toronto Community Housing. For many years, Toronto has been approving much-needed projects, in many cases unfunded, while neglecting the foundations on which they need to be built. And while $6.6 billion is a lot of money, it’s also a fraction of what’s needed. It’s barely half a year’s operating budget, spread over six years.

Vancouver councillors send budget with 8.2% tax hike back to the drawing board

  Vancouver councillors send budget with 8.2% tax hike back to the drawing board "We're hearing loud and clear that the increase is too high," said NPA Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung.The city's controversial draft budget for 2020 was rejected by councillors Tuesday, who asked staff to come back Wednesday with suggestions to get the hike down to between five and seven per cent.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is to assist payment of property taxes and should not be considered as proof or certification of taxes paid. If you are seeking certification of taxes paid for the purposes of an act of sale, re-financing, or to comply with other legal requirements, please click

More property tax topics. Senior citizens exemption. If granted, you would receive adjustments to your monthly maintenance fees to reflect the benefit of that exemption. Life estates or trusts: the life tenant is entitled to possession and use of the property for the duration of his or her life and is

The need for this is so obvious, Toronto’s various backlogs and defects are so visible and palpable to everyone who lies here, that the tax hike may sail through city council just as it sailed through Tory’s very conservative (by Toronto standards) executive committee. Which would make it all the more frustrating that Tory won re-election just a year ago swearing blind — as usual — that he wouldn’t raise property taxes above inflation, and criticizing his opponents’ non-existent plans to do otherwise.

“Some people, they will tell you that big plans require big tax increases. But that’s just not so, and we have proven it,” Tory boasted in a campaign video.

He suggested his main opponent, former chief city planner Jennifer Keesmaat, had a hidden agenda to beggar the populace — for no other reason than that (per a campaign news release) “the most radical members of City Council’s left wing” supported her and they “never met a tax hike they didn’t like.” He ran a similarly nasty campaign against Olivia Chow four years earlier, calling her a “tax and spend career politician … who has been living off the public purse for three decades.” (As might Tory have been, had he not been so good at losing elections.) At every chance he got, Tory would insist property taxes are simply the wrong pool from which to draw for big-time infrastructure projects — knowing full well no other pools were available.

Toronto city council votes to increase building levy on property tax bills

  Toronto city council votes to increase building levy on property tax bills The move will cause the levy to increase by an extra eight per cent over the next six years. The city said the increase will be phased in year-over-year, costing the average homeowner approximately $45 more per year beginning in 2020.The increase will begin with an extra one per cent -- on top of a previous planned increase of 0.5 per cent -- in 2020 and 2021, before increasing by 1.5 per cent annually until 2025. READ MORE: 10-cent fare hike proposed in TTC 2020 operating budget The city said the total tax increase over six years will amount to approximately $280 for the average household.

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The irony is that Chow and Keesmaat both ran maddeningly unambitious campaigns. Like Tory, both even promised to keep property taxes at the rate of inflation! It’s nice that someone has finally ended this city-building-on-the-cheap charade, and maybe it’s useful that it was a perceived penny-pincher like Tory who did it — Nixon goes to China, and all that. But it is still thoroughly disreputable.

Tory came to the mayor’s office directly from CivicAction, where he travelled around badgering politicians at every level to support raising taxes and embrace new revenue tools. He cannot claim to have had any sort of genuine fiscal epiphany after five years in office, and three years after Wynne screwed him on road tolls.

Far too often in this country, governments break utterly fundamental promises. Justin Trudeau promised Canadians a balanced budget by this year. Doug Ford promised Ontarians no cuts to services, just efficiencies. His brother, Rob Ford, promised Torontonians exactly the same. Tory is part of that narrative now, and for no good reason — he would easily have won a second term anyway. As crucial and correct as his decision is, it’s not healthy for democracy.

• Email: cselley@nationalpost.com | Twitter: cselley

Chris Selley: Our 'illegal carpooling problem' is actually a huge opportunity .
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