News   Jul 12, 2024
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Property taxes

Admiral, It's simple: Residents of the central city export our tax dollars to subsidize the inner suburbs more and more with every passing year, and in exchange we import top notch political leadership and cutting edge ideas.
 
My wife and I wonder if we'll be taxed out of our home when we're old.
I doubt it, unless your home is currenly worth millions, or your RRSP and pension are too small. Looking at the total tax paid on my house in 2013 compared to 2007 when I bought it, and it's changed surprisingly little. Increases were a bit below average over last MPAC period, and now a bit above average this new MPAC period.

The increases seem much lower than many 905 suburbs.
 
Meanwhile the city has $248 million surplus. So, why the tax increase again?

They always "budget" for the worst case scenario. Blizzards all winter, electricity and petroleum prices going up, wages going up at the high end, tornadoes, plague, fire, brimstone, etc.. So that should there be a mild winter, prices going down, etc. they end up with a pleasant "surprise". Better to err on the bad side, just in case.
 
They always "budget" for the worst case scenario. Blizzards all winter, electricity and petroleum prices going up, wages going up at the high end, tornadoes, plague, fire, brimstone, etc.. So that should there be a mild winter, prices going down, etc. they end up with a pleasant "surprise". Better to err on the bad side, just in case.
I appreciate contingency planning, but Toronto's government has consistently cried poor while reporting surpluses.

Toronto surpluses...
• 2006: $94 million
• 2007: $95 million
• 2008: $88 million
• 2009: $354 million
• 2010: $367 million
• 2011: $292 million
• 2012: $232 million

Just taking the surpluses from 2009 to 2012 alone, you'd have $1.2 billion for transit. You can't keep crying poor when you're making more money than you can spend.
 
Meanwhile the city has $248 million surplus. So, why the tax increase again?
Look at where the biggest surpluses were though.

$56 million as the land-transfer tax was higher than expected. Given that the number of sales in 2013 is lower than 2012 (even though prices are stable, so far), we can't count on this in 2013.

Then there's $40 million from TTC operations, mostly because ridership increased faster than expected and faster than service could be added, and also because of lower fuel costs. Look at the 2013 ridership, it's bang on (if not very slightly below) projections, and they increased service (and are planning more increases), meanwhile fuel prices are going up. So can't count on this this year.

And also $10 million from transportation - mostly savings on snow clearing in 2012. Given the lack of any winter in January/February/March 2012, and that this last winter didn't show up until January, this should be a surprise. But given what happened in early 2013, I wouldn't count on this either.

This is part of the problem with not being allowed to run a deficit. You end up with very conservative estimates. But some years, the stars will align, and the surplus will be a lot lower.
 
So wait ... are you saying that Ford's policies have nothing to do with the surplus? He wanted to cancel the LTT, wants streetcars out of the way and doesn't control the weather. But yeah, he'll take credit.
 

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