Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Toronto: What goes around...

One day soon, the joke will be on them.

Throughout the afternoon the arrogant bunch left the speakers to sit and cool their heels for hours while they returned to other items that easily could have waited.

When the first speaker, Bill Johnston, chairman of government relations for the Toronto Real Estate Board, expressed his opposition to a proposed Toronto land transfer tax that will duplicate the provincial one, the Millerites badgered him with silly questions for more than an hour.

So-called fiscal conservative Gloria Lindsay Luby nervily suggested the alternative was an 18% property tax hike. And just what did Johnston think of that, she huffed. "You're proposing taking 18 gallons of blood from this citizen to benefit another citizen just because its easy," he said.

When Carol Wilding of the Toronto Board of Trade dared say the taxes being considered (on land transfers and vehicle registration) will "erode" the city's economic competitiveness and should only be used as a "last resort" after city officials "crunch the numbers" to reduce expenditures, His Blondness angrily declared declared a provincial audit indicated Toronto is efficient compared to other Ontario cities.

Who is the King of Denial fooling? According to the city's own documents, Toronto falls well behind other cities on 40% of the measures audited -- including the transit cost per vehicle and the cost of solid waste disposal per tonne.


Chad Moats said...

This is a great move by all involved. Cities need increased tax tools to generate the revenue needed to provide proper services and for infrastructure. It takes the cost from an inefficient property tax and moves them to more efficient consumption taxes and user fees. I would have thought the CTF would at least applaud the move towards smarter taxation because your opposed to little ,or "no" as you say David, taxation on reserves. So if efficient taxes are bad and low/no taxes are bad. What do you suggest?

David MacLean said...

It takes the cost from an inefficient property tax and moves them to more efficient consumption taxes and user fees.

There is no tax "movement" here, Chad. Just new taxes on top of the old, steadily-rising property taxes.

Further, there is nothign "efficient" about a land transfer tax. It's about as inneficient as it gets.

Chad Moats said...

The only one's hurt by a land transfer tax, in the long run, are speculators and property flippers.

If the new revenue sources staved off a massive property tax hike or reduced it then there is tax movement.

Overall, for all cities, this is the way to go. Ask the CWF.

Kevin Gaudet said...

these taxes are merely a tax grab. unless and until cities demonstrate fiscal restraint they don't deserve new taxing powers.

Only 10% of home buyers are speculators. In fact a land transfer tax will hurt growing families, first time home buyers, and the elderly looking to move into lower cost housing.

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