Comment 9216

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted July 23, 2007 at 10:56:50

Tom, Ryan, good points. Just want to elaborate on a few areas:

  1. I wonder, to what extent, the fiscal problems in Toronto (and to a lesser extent Hamilton too) are not dire? A half billion shortfall seems pretty dire to me. Apparently $270 out of my annual $2, 700 property tax bill goes to just financing the debt. At what point is Toronto, and other municipalities in the same state, going to deal with this?
  2. Some commentators in Toronto, most recently Chris Hume in his column today, are suggesting the veto of the land transfer tax grab was foolish. I fail to see why this was a ‘wise’ proposal. Our tax system is already largely designed to take money from those who are least likely to complain and in a manner which makes it hard for us to protest or ‘see it coming’. And the tax taken is in no way directly linked to any specific service. Capital gains, land-transfers, income tax deducted at source, all of these are tax levies which are in no way linked to the services provided. And all of these are taxes taken in a way that is designed to be as ‘painless’ as possible. I’m sick of these kind of taxes! Would we pay for our vacations, our food, or our other purchases in this manner? If the whole idea of financing our municipal services is based on this same tax levy approach then I’m against it. We need to start structuring our taxes in a way that linlks them to services so that we can see the value of our ‘investment’. A general pot and income based taxes are, or course, needed – you can’t link everything – but trying to tax is when we ‘are not looking’ is a bullshit approach.
  3. There is now talk of Toronto councilors building a right wing base to create an official opposition (to Miller)… We’ll see if this transpires. Whatever happened to a council working together to forma coalition of ideas for the benefit of the entire community…?
  4. As for the transit discussion, the question appears to be, ‘should non-Torontonians pay for the TTC?’ My answer is ‘yes’. The whole country benefits when cities are productive. A productive city creates wealth for everyone. Federal and provincial money should, therefore, be directed into cities to enable citizens to be as productive as possible.



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