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What’s Happening with the Taxes on The Municipal Level?

Municipal government tax

It would seem that the pedestal that Mayor John Tory was put on when first elected is beginning to crumble in the eyes of the taxpayers.   He came in with a lot of promises and recently a lot of those promises have gone to the wind.   These include according to some, the increases in the budget, and the spending that is getting out of control along with many other broken promises.

If we go back in time we remember when Mr. Tory was promising to give the TTC riders a break. It seems that that the break has gone away now that the fares have gone up.

Although property tax was not supposed to go beyond the 1.91%, the year 2015 has seen it go up 2.75%.   Then of course there is the garbage issue east of Yonge Street that is still up for debate.   Again going back to a platform promise it was indicated that that this would be contracted out.

While Mr. Tory seems to be a down to earth a type of politician it cannot be forgotten that he still is a politician and therefore his promises are scrutinized carefully. He has made the attempts to downplay the modest increase in the latest property tax that he is suggesting stating that it is a levy and that it is only going to cost the average homeowner about $13 yet it will generate tens of millions of dollars for the city building fund.

While on the surface that really doesn’t seem so bad again like anything the government puts forward it must be scrutinized in its entirety. If the suggestion goes through for the $13 this is the tax increase that would be levied each year for five years.   So when you look at it in its totality, the $13 is the first year tax hike in the second year it goes to  $26, then in the third $39, and then by the fourth it’s up to $52, and by the fifth year it is reached $65. While the increase will stop by then that extra amount is still being paid each and every year.

Even so this doesn’t appear to be a large amount of money but it is going against what he stood for on the campaign platform. Many will recall the great to do about the Smart track rail system that Mr. Tory was touting as a campaign promise. At that time when asked where the money from this would come from strong indications were that the taxpayer would not have to pay a nickel more.

While initially we can be angry and disappointed at the broken promises ,  we still have to be realistic in assessing whether the money that is needed for all of these things that we really want with come from.   This includes the improved public transportation and a better infrastructure.  Are we willing to pay for it?

 

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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Toronto, Ontario
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