Saturday, January 25, 2014

Toronto Residential Property Tax Needs Reforming







During the past decade taxpaying citizens of Ontario have seen the provincial government and Toronto city council commence tax reform for business property tax but NOT for residential property taxes!

In October 2007 Councilors’ as suggested by non-elected technocrats and bureaucrats approved reducing business property tax by the  report  "Update to Enhancing Toronto's Business Climate" status that highlights 12 new initiatives to enhance the city's competitiveness over the long term! 

The honestly and realistic speaking result has simply been to shift the tax burden of about $ 2 BILLION annual dollars from business to our residential property taxpayers across the province and city that has continued to increase the financial pressures on Toronto, other cities and municipalities throughout the GTHA and across the entire province. 

In 2003 Toronto's operating budget was $ 6.400 Billion. Now in 2013 it has jumped to $ 10.858 BILLION an increase of 69.65%  

Since that time after amalgamation Toronto’s career politicians on behalf of residential property taxpayers including our seniors on fixed pensions and lower income earners saw fit to increase residential property taxes by 30.95%. *(not including the 2.71% proposed RPT increase for 2014 & 1.13% corporate property tax increase 0.75 plus .48 ) Councillors for the same period increased business property taxes by a mere 10.557%. Inflation for the same period was 17.9%! *Source 

The Toronto unemployment rate for youth in 2003 stood at 16.4%. Today after the business property tax reductions the unemployment rate for our Toronto youth has jumped to 19.8%(unadjusted for seasonality) which is significantly higher than the 14.2%national figure.

In 2003, $ 58,200 was the median salary in Toronto while a member of council had a salary of $ 65,852 which represented a difference of 13%. Today a Councilor’s salary is $ 104,147 and the median Toronto salary stands at $ 77,400. A difference of 34.5%!

Remember that just over 47% of Toronto residential property taxpayers have an annual average household income of under $ 53,000 and account for approximately 400,000 private households throughout our ONE community of Toronto. And that the average median income for a one person household is under$ 46,000 in Toronto.

Hopefully a majority of Toronto taxpayers come October shall realize that a political life long career of Councilors’ has NOT resulted in a financially prudent bunch of Councilors’ at the public trough they have controlled at the peoples City hall for 10 or 20 years.

Remember that just over 47% of Toronto residential property taxpayers have an annual average household income of under  
$53,000 and account for approximately 400,000 private households throughout our ONE Toronto community.

The Toronto social slogan may be Putting People First but the reality has become business and career Councilors’ come first at council and residential property taxpayers bear the brunt of Toronto’s business property tax reductions and council’s chronic spending habits.

We should be electing Councilors’ who are demanding limitations on residential property assessments and tax limitations on behalf fixed income seniors and low income earners commencing with the 2015 budget process and have the political courage to greatly reduce non-mandated city services. 

And not simply with a deferment of tax increases for seniors on fixed pensions and low wage earners but a cap on such residential property taxes until these properties are sold in the future.

Scandinavian countries have shown the world that it is far less expensive and greatly reduces long term residential health care costs when those on fixed income pensioners and low wage earners can comfortably and affordably remain in their own households.

If the province and city can reform and reduce business property tax then Torontonians surely can elect Councilors’ who have the long term vision that people not business actually come first and outweigh the greed of economics. 

Councilors’ are supposed to represent the people and not simply increase their own earnings capabilities at the direct expense of residential property taxpayers. 

Q Tax shift? What is that?
A. A tax shift is a change in taxes that will eliminate or reduces some taxes while adding or increasing others, keeping the overall revenue stable. Mandated by the province, it seeks to shift the property tax burden away from the commercial and industrial property owners and onto the residential class. The shift is happening gradually and, according to the city website, Toronto is on track to meet its target by 2017. In the meantime, it means any tax increase voted into the 2014 budget by council will include an extra 0.48% to accommodate that shift.  National Post 
City of Toronto Financial Statement
@http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=c8e619b125cd1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
UPDATE March 2014.

Because the Star and Royson James make statements and claims to contradict both Pennachetti and Rossinni along with the Mayor does not make them factual or true. You be the judge!



Article Sources:


http://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/economic_development_and_culture/docs/Sectors_Reports/fiscalbenefits_localgeneration.pdf