The public will not tolerate a Liberal transit funding plan that exempts corporations. The province cannot afford to start our search for transit funding $1.3 billion in the hole.
By Rosario Marchese
Published April 19, 2013
If Adrian Duyzer can detect an actual transit funding plan within Kathleen Wynne's "courageous talk," he is a better detective than I am. Let's be clear: so far the Liberals have announced exactly zero revenue tools to pay for transit and have so far committed exactly zero dollars.
Meanwhile, the NDP has identified $1.3 billion worth of corporate tax cuts that the Liberals plan on giving away starting in 2015. That's $1.3 billion a year that will no longer be available for priorities such as transit.
While $1.3 billion will not pay for all of The Big Move, it will certainly pay for a lot of it. So why would the Liberals give this money away, while asking everybody else to pay more?
The province cannot afford to start our search for transit funding $1.3 billion in the hole. Most importantly, the public will not tolerate a Liberal transit funding plan that exempts corporations. We think it is fair for corporations to share the burden, and we believe the public thinks so too.
While the NDP have put $1.3 billion a year on the table, Kathleen Wynne has offered only "courageous talk." You decide what will actually pay the bills.
Question: who decided that progressive income taxes and corporate taxes were now out of bounds? These are the taxes that have historically paid for the vast majority of our public infrastructure.
But beginning in 1995, the provincial government began to radically cut these taxes, costing the treasury $17 billion a year in foregone revenue. This is why we cannot afford to build transit, not the lack of road tolls.
The bottom line is that the NDP supports public transit. We want to see The Big Move built. We know it will cost the province at least $2 billion a year, and we will need new, dedicated and reliable revenue tools to pay for it.
But we reject the premise that our province must abandon the principles of progressive taxation and corporate contribution, and we reject the Liberals' insistence that the only way to pay for transit is through user fees and regressive taxes that place a disproportionate burden on Ontarians who are already struggling.
And we believe the public will reject this as well.
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