Toronto, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Toronto city councillors to reject tax hike proposals Mayor Olivia Chow will present at a special session of council later today.
“Torontonians are hurting from the effects of high inflation and soaring living costs,” said Jay Goldberg, Ontario Director of the CTF. “Instead of looking at a laundry list of new taxes, Toronto’s politicians should be looking for ways to find savings.”
Toronto currently faces a $1.5-billion budget gap for the 2024 fiscal year. Cities are not allowed to run deficits. Rather than finding budget savings, Chow is planning to hike taxes.
“If Toronto simply returned to the spending levels the city had in 2022, just eight short months ago, nearly all of the city’s deficit would be eliminated,” said Goldberg.
Chow is proposing to increase the municipal land transfer tax on homes sold for over $3 million. She also plans to ask councillors to approve other tax hike proposals, including a commercial parking tax, a foreign buyer land transfer tax, a vacant home tax increase and a plan to increase property taxes. Chow hasn’t yet specified how much she plans to increase property taxes ahead of next year’s budget.
Councillors will consider the idea of a municipal sales tax as well. Such a move would the provincial government’s approval.
“Chow shouldn’t be asking for a sales tax and Premier Doug Ford absolutely has to reject it if she does,” said Goldberg. “Interest rates and inflation are already driving up the price of everything. Chow’s sales tax would drive those prices even higher. It’s hard to imagine a worse policy at a worse time.”
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