Chow's 16.5% property tax hike plan makes residents hostages

spaminator

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Chow's 16.5% property tax hike plan makes residents hostages
Three different tax hikes amount to biggest proposed tax hike in city history.


Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Jan 10, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 3 minute read
With Olivia Chow’s victory, Toronto homeowners can expect a significant property tax hike and higher taxes on vacant and luxury homes.

Toronto taxpayers are sitting in a hostage situation right now as Mayor Olivia Chow puts a gun to our heads, telling the feds to pay up, or she’ll shoot.


The proposal for a 10.5% tax hike, 16.5% unless the Trudeau government hands over more cash, landed with a boom on Wednesday morning.


Anyone paying attention to politics in Toronto knew that electing Olivia Chow as mayor would lead to a tax increase. Chow never denied it; she wouldn’t even dispute claims that her tax hike would be 20% or more. All she would say is that she would bring in moderate tax increases.

Asked during a Wednesday afternoon news conference if this proposal was a moderate tax increase, Chow claimed this was a staff budget and not hers. Essentially, she refused to answer and, after several more questions, would not say whether residents could afford such a hike — or if she endorsed it.

Neither a 10.5% nor a 16.5% tax hike is moderate by any stretch. Both are well above the rate of inflation, and when compounded with last year’s hike of 7%, represent a significant boost to residential property tax bills.


For every $100 of property taxes that you paid in 2022, you paid $107 in 2023. Under Chow’s plan, you will pay $124.65 if the 16.5% hike goes through, and $118.24 if the lower hike is the final number.

Over two years, an increase of 18% to 25% is outrageous and well above anything to do with inflation. This overspending was a major problem under John Tory and is continuing — growing even — under Chow.

The other shocking part of this is that Chow’s proposed tax hikes come after she got her new deal with the province to upload the Gardiner and DVP and, as Budget Chief Shelley Carroll put it, take over $400 million in operating costs.

Councillor Brad Bradford said that between what the province has delivered and what the feds recently put on the table, there has been a massive influx of cash to the city from other levels of government.


“The first question I would be asking the mayor is ‘What steps have you taken to save the city money? What efficiencies have you tried to find within your service delivery?’” Bradford said.

He added that given the size of the tax hike, he doesn’t think Chow and her team, or city staff, have done enough to look for savings.

One councillor who has been generally supportive of Mayor Chow since her election says he will be breaking ranks with her over the budget, which will be revised and presented by the mayor on Feb. 1. City council will approve this year’s budget on Feb. 14.

“It will be a Valentine’s Day massacre,” Jon Burnside told The Toronto Sun.

Burnside said that both council’s left and right wing have failed at finding ways to get back to basics instead of sticking with the status quo.


“We haven’t been willing to step away from issues that we aren’t responsible for,” Burnside said.

He identified refugee shelters and long-term care homes as areas that are the responsibility of other levels of government that the city, and city taxpayers, are bearing. He’d like to see the city focus on getting back to core services, rather than taking on costs that should be borne by the provincial or federal governments.

Chow rejected the idea of looking at a service review or getting back to basics in September during a council meeting on budget priorities. Instead, she encouraged people to come out and take part in budget consultations over the next few weeks; something I’d say should happen as well.

Average citizens, including renters who will be hit by this tax hike, need to step forward and have their voices heard so that it’s not just activists pushing for higher taxes who are being heard.
 
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pgs

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 29, 2008
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B.C.
Chow's 16.5% property tax hike plan makes residents hostages
Three different tax hikes amount to biggest proposed tax hike in city history.


Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Jan 10, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 3 minute read
With Olivia Chow’s victory, Toronto homeowners can expect a significant property tax hike and higher taxes on vacant and luxury homes.

Toronto taxpayers are sitting in a hostage situation right now as Mayor Olivia Chow puts a gun to our heads, telling the feds to pay up, or she’ll shoot.


The proposal for a 10.5% tax hike, 16.5% unless the Trudeau government hands over more cash, landed with a boom on Wednesday morning.


Anyone paying attention to politics in Toronto knew that electing Olivia Chow as mayor would lead to a tax increase. Chow never denied it; she wouldn’t even dispute claims that her tax hike would be 20% or more. All she would say is that she would bring in moderate tax increases.

Asked during a Wednesday afternoon news conference if this proposal was a moderate tax increase, Chow claimed this was a staff budget and not hers. Essentially, she refused to answer and, after several more questions, would not say whether residents could afford such a hike — or if she endorsed it.

Neither a 10.5% nor a 16.5% tax hike is moderate by any stretch. Both are well above the rate of inflation, and when compounded with last year’s hike of 7%, represent a significant boost to residential property tax bills.


For every $100 of property taxes that you paid in 2022, you paid $107 in 2023. Under Chow’s plan, you will pay $124.65 if the 16.5% hike goes through, and $118.24 if the lower hike is the final number.

Over two years, an increase of 18% to 25% is outrageous and well above anything to do with inflation. This overspending was a major problem under John Tory and is continuing — growing even — under Chow.

The other shocking part of this is that Chow’s proposed tax hikes come after she got her new deal with the province to upload the Gardiner and DVP and, as Budget Chief Shelley Carroll put it, take over $400 million in operating costs.

Councillor Brad Bradford said that between what the province has delivered and what the feds recently put on the table, there has been a massive influx of cash to the city from other levels of government.


“The first question I would be asking the mayor is ‘What steps have you taken to save the city money? What efficiencies have you tried to find within your service delivery?’” Bradford said.

He added that given the size of the tax hike, he doesn’t think Chow and her team, or city staff, have done enough to look for savings.

One councillor who has been generally supportive of Mayor Chow since her election says he will be breaking ranks with her over the budget, which will be revised and presented by the mayor on Feb. 1. City council will approve this year’s budget on Feb. 14.

“It will be a Valentine’s Day massacre,” Jon Burnside told The Toronto Sun.

Burnside said that both council’s left and right wing have failed at finding ways to get back to basics instead of sticking with the status quo.


“We haven’t been willing to step away from issues that we aren’t responsible for,” Burnside said.

He identified refugee shelters and long-term care homes as areas that are the responsibility of other levels of government that the city, and city taxpayers, are bearing. He’d like to see the city focus on getting back to core services, rather than taking on costs that should be borne by the provincial or federal governments.

Chow rejected the idea of looking at a service review or getting back to basics in September during a council meeting on budget priorities. Instead, she encouraged people to come out and take part in budget consultations over the next few weeks; something I’d say should happen as well.

Average citizens, including renters who will be hit by this tax hike, need to step forward and have their voices heard so that it’s not just activists pushing for higher taxes who are being heard.
Ya gets what ya vore for .
 

Taxslave2

House Member
Aug 13, 2022
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If green tech was worth investing in, it would not need special laws and massive amounts of taxpayer money.
 
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Taxslave2

House Member
Aug 13, 2022
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Ummmmmm. You'd best retract that one. I'd be surprised if we've broke even on the CPR line from 160 years ago.
We as taxpayers probably haven’t. CPR shareholders most certainly have. One of my uncles was a CPR VP, and he made out quite well.
 

Tecumsehsbones

Hall of Fame Member
Mar 18, 2013
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They didn’t really require public money either. But we know you favour corporate welfare.
Don't know about in Canaduh, but they got public money down here. They also got special laws in the form of eminent domain.

The airlines also got public money. Not to mention certain public assistance to their operations. Like airports.
 

Dixie Cup

Senate Member
Sep 16, 2006
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Don't know about in Canaduh, but they got public money down here. They also got special laws in the form of eminent domain.

The airlines also got public money. Not to mention certain public assistance to their operations. Like airports.
Air Canada anyone??? Haven't they had government support at one ( or 2 times)?
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
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Not just taxes going up -- Mayor Chow looks to get a big pay hike
Chow and her senior staff are set to cash in as budget proposes a 16.5% tax hike.


Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Jan 12, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read

Taxes aren’t the only thing going up at Toronto City Hall — so is Olivia Chow’s paycheque.


Hidden in the budget documents released this week is a $7,600 raise on the mayor’s annual salary of more than $200,000.


There’s also an additional $18,400 to be divided up among the senior staff in the mayor’s office.

The 3.5% annualized pay hike for Chow and her senior staff, all of whom are paid very well, will likely play large in the coming contract negotiations with city unions, including TTC workers. What’s good for the mayor is what’s good for the workers, the union bosses will say.

Of course, that likely matches Chow’s philosophy, and she was aided in getting elected by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 so she owes them. The problem is, when everyone’s salary goes up, it’s the taxpayers who have to foot the bill, not Chow.


The news of Chow’s raise comes as the city’s budget also looks to cut in other areas.

The budget proposal released Wednesday would cut the budget of the Office of the Integrity Commissioner by 18.4% from $991,000 to $807,000. That’s cutting the budget of one of the city’s watchdog agencies that if needed would look into allegations of bad behaviour by the mayor or councillors.

When spending is going up elsewhere, why cut this office?

Meanwhile, Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw is warning the city that cutting $12.6 million from the already approved Toronto Police Services Board budget is not a good idea.

“Costs cannot be further reduced without taking unacceptable risks. Otherwise, the service will have no prospect of delivering adequate and effective policing services as required by legislation,” Demkiw said Thursday.


Cutting police, cutting the integrity commissioner, but increasing the salaries of the mayor and her senior staff seems out of touch. This is especially true given the affordability crisis that residents are dealing with.

With her existing salary of just over $200,000, plus her pension as an MP, Chow is already in the top 2% of income if not edging towards being in the 1%. She was elected by people who are nowhere near that income bracket and are struggling at the moment.

This is a wage hike she doesn’t need and given the state of the city’s finances, she should refuse, as should her senior staff. While rejecting the pay increase would mostly be symbolic, it’s also the right thing to do.

There is also precedent for this at City Hall.



In 2011, councillors rejected a scheduled pay increase that was tied to the rate of inflation, citing the fiscal pressures the city was facing. In 2020, Mayor John Tory proposed a motion which council adopted that froze salaries for the mayor and council as the impact of COVID-19 was ravaging the city’s finances.

Asking residents to pay a 16.5% tax hike and then proposing a salary increase is offensive.

Over the next two weeks the city is looking to hear from residents on the proposed budget, meaning now is the time for anyone who wants fiscal sanity to get involved. There are three telephone townhalls next week where residents can hear from Chow and budget chief Shelley Carroll and even ask them questions.

There are in-person meetings across the city happening on Jan. 22 and 23 — find the one near you and take part.

Now is the time for people to engage and to let the mayor and council know in polite but firm terms that the budget as it now stands, including Chow’s salary increase, is unacceptable. If people don’t get involved, nothing will change. Make sure your voice is heard.

blilley@postmedia.com
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
23,517
8,256
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Regina, Saskatchewan
This video is worth watching at least once.
Shelley Carroll indicated that the city required another $250 million from the federal government to help cover the cost of housing asylum claimants in Toronto.

The city threatened homeowners with an additional six per cent levy on their tax bill in 2024 if the federal government didn’t come through with more money.

The federal government is providing Toronto with another $143 million (3/5ths) in funding to help support the influx of asylum claimants arriving in the city.
Officials have said that the number of asylum seekers in Toronto’s shelter system grew by 500 per cent in 20 months and the city has had to turn them away from at-capacity shelters toward federal programs.