Aug 21, 2023
By Jane Brown
Would Ontario’s premier sign off on a Toronto sales tax?
It could be a tough sell as Mayor Olivia Chow’s executive committee meets this week to discuss a number of new “revenue tools” proposed by City of Toronto staff.
Doug Ford was elected to Toronto city council back in 2010, the same year his now late brother Rob Ford was elected mayor, promising to end the gravy train at Toronto City Hall. Their platform focused on cutting waste and eliminating a vehicle registration tax created by council to raise revenue.
And last year, Premier Ford rejected the idea of tolling both the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway when it was floated by then Mayor John Tory.
Toronto’s Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie spoke over the weekend at a conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and explained what the city is looking for is a revenue tool that grows with the economy, “because we recognize the current revenue tools available to us do not and they’re not sufficient to meet those requirements. As to what that looks like, we want to have that conversation with the province. It could involve a sales tax, it could also involve income tax or percentages of the existing taxes that both the province and the federal government levy.”
McKelvie says it doesn’t necessarily have to be a new tax, but is more about getting a bigger share into the city.