Friday, October 07, 2005

The alternative Ontario throne speech

The premier has promised to overhaul the legislation that governs what Toronto can and cannot do, from setting bar hours to placing speed bumps. Problem is, what the City really wants are new regulatory and taxation powers. Businesses are understandably worried that revenue-thirsty councilors will use these powers to tax them out of existence. Lest one dismiss this as a “Toronto issue”, it isn’t; what happens with this Act will set the bar for municipalities across Ontario. The premier should take the time to get this law right, not simply rush it through before the next municipal election in 2006.

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Union Member said...

I think that municipalities should be given more flexibility in how they can raise revenue. Currently,through grants , they are already taking chumks of PST,Gas Tax and Income Tax. Relieving the provincial government of the financial obligation to municipalities. Will enable more programs,debt relief or even tax breaks.
Property Taxes are archaic and punish little old widows on a pensiona,who just want to keep their houses.

Shawn said...

Great, if the other levels of government are able to withdraw their fangs tax-wise when municipalities take over certain services. I am skeptical of their ability to do so, but would be heavily in favor of local government having more responsibility. My opinion is the more proximate the policymakers to the constituents, the more responsive. However, there would have to be some effective method of limiting their powers to tax and implement fees.

Union Member said...

The best way in our Westminster system is for the provinces to devolve the right to advise them on these matters, to municipalities.
This allows them the flexibility and the "sober" second thought of the Legislature. Thus limiting them from imposing a 25% sales tax but 0.5-1% , and/or income, would generate enough to relive the property tax burden.

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