Sep 07, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Toronto City councillors have voted in favour of a number of revenue tools to help with a $1.5-billion COVID-related budget shortfall.

These include graduated increases to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on homes worth $3-million and more and the removal of a $5-an-hour cap for on-street parking.

Councillors have approved further study of a commercial parking levy, a monthly mobile phone levy for 9-1-1 costs and increasing the vacant home tax.

The municipal politicians have also approved asking the province for permission to implement a municipal sales tax for goods and services sold in Toronto.

“It always hurts a little bit to face the music, but we can’t afford to continue to stick our head in the sand when the city needs urgent care now,” said Councillor Alejandra Bravo.

“We have to unfortunately, make some decisions today which might not be palatable but are necessary,” added Councillor Michael Thompson.

In addition to coming up with revenue strategies at the City of Toronto, councillors also voted to ask the province for permission to implement a municipal sales tax for good and services in Toronto.

Premier Doug Ford has already indicated he’s not in favour of a municipal sales tax or additional tax increases in general.

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