Executive committee debates taxes, tolls to fund public transit
TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee will review a report today recommending several taxes, levies and tolls that the province could use to fund transit expansion in the region.
The city staff report recommends varying revenue tools including development charges, fuel taxes, parking levies, sales taxes and road tolls to fund the Metrolinx’s plan for transit expansion dubbed The Big Move.
While Premier Kathleen Wynne – who will be integral in deciding the eventual tools used – has already stated her support for some form of new revenue tool, Ford has been adamant in his opposition.
“I’m not supporting any of those revenue tools,” Ford said last week. “The people can’t afford these taxes. That’s all it is – tax, tax, tax.”
The mayor has also suggested in past interviews that the province could use revenue from a casino to help fund transit.
High estimates suggest a casino could generate annually up to $150 million in revenue for the city.
Provincial estimates suggest upwards of $2 billion a year will be needed to fund the transit expansion plan.
While Ford has been vocal in his opposition to new revenue tools, he represents just one vote on the 13-person executive committee.
If the majority committee adopts the report, it will be referred to city council for final approval.
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