GROUPS SAY BILLBOARD TAX SHOULD BENEFIT THE ARTS

Dec 10, 2012

By Michael Kramer

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A 10-year-old pledge to boost funding to the arts in Toronto has yet to be fulfilled.

Now  the  city is being pressured to make it part of Toronto’s  2013 operating budget.

After being repeatedly told there was no extra money for the arts, groups pushed former mayor David Miller’s administration to create a billboard tax – formally called the “third-party sign tax,” and advocated that the money be devoted  to the arts.

Representatives of the arts council and local arts organizations appeared before the city budget committee today.

Art Council Executive Director, Claire Hopkins says it would take about 17 million dollars to fulfil the original pledge and  billboard tax revenues could be used.

Council is set to finalize the proposed $9.4 billion operating budget in mid-January.

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