Coalition Fears 34% Property Tax Hike If Council Can’t Find Cuts


As Toronto’s city council debates over whether or not to cut services, the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is warning that if council is unable to curb spending, Toronto homeowners face a property tax hike of up to 34%.

Coalition president Matthew McGuire said “It’s a ticking-tax time bomb. Homeowners face a potential tax increase of more than a third, and tenants will be hit with a nearly 10% rent increase.”

The coalition was accused to spreading fear, but McGuire pointed out the calculation was made using city numbers. He pointed out that a 1% property tax increase would raise $22.6 million in revenue, and noted the $774 million budget shortfall could be made up with a 34% property tax increase.

Councillor Shelley Carroll, who was budget chief under Mayor David Miller, said “Never have we increased property taxes 34%. But it is still too high, and we are trying to solve the problem.”

Toronto Taxpayers Coalition argues that significant progress can be made by outsourcing services, staff layoffs, and eliminating the fair wage policy, “the most unfair policy in the city.”

The fair wage policy stipulates that employees of private companies who have contracts with the city must be paid inflated union wages similar to those paid to employees on the municipal payroll. The fair wage policy benefits a small group to the detriment of the entire city, as bloated employment costs drive up taxes and eliminate the benefits of competition otherwise gained through contracting services out.

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