Fibber, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Honesty in Politics mascot, paying mayor John Tory a visit at Toronto city hall
TORONTO, ON: Fibber, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s long-nosed Honesty in Politics mascot, is paying Mayor John Tory a visit at Toronto city hall this morning to remind him to keep his election promise not to raise property taxes in Toronto beyond the rate of inflation.
“Tory explicitly ran his election campaign on the promise not to raise property taxes in Toronto,” said Jasmine Pickel, the interim Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “His announcement is not only disappointing for the Toronto voters who supported the self-proclaimed low-tax candidate, it’s insulting because he thinks he can get away with this enormous property tax increase by calling it by another name. This isn’t a levy, it’s a tax, and it’s also a broken promise.”
Toronto property taxes consist of three separate taxes: the city tax, education tax, and the city building fund, a levy on top of property taxes which came into effect in 2017. Mayor Tory introduced the city building levy to create a so-called dedicated fund for capital projects such as transit and public housing.
Originally, the city building levy was introduced at 0.5 per cent in 2017, and was set to add an additional 0.5 per cent per year over 5 years until 2022, at which point it would cap out at 2.5 per cent.
In an announcement last Wednesday, Tory indicated that the city building levy would increase until 2025, peaking at 10.5 per cent. Increases will rise by an additional one per cent in 2020 and will continue to add 1.5 per cent to that rate until 2025. The mayor projects that this increase will take an additional $6.6 billion from Toronto taxpayers.
“Living in Toronto is already unaffordable, yet the mayor is about to take another $6.6 billion out of taxpayers’ pockets,” said Pickel. “Fibber came to Toronto today to remind Tory of the promise he made to Toronto taxpayers during the last election. Tory needs to keep his promise and cancel these massive hikes.”
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Interim Ontario Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation