Toronto city council votes to increase building levy on property tax bills

Toronto city council votes in favour of raising taxes to cover city levy
Toronto homeowners will soon start paying more when their property tax bills come.

Toronto city council voted Tuesday to increase the city’s building levy on homeowners’ property tax bills.

The move will cause the levy to increase by an extra eight per cent over the next six years.

The city said the increase will be phased in year-over-year, costing the average homeowner approximately $45 more per year beginning in 2020.

The increase will begin with an extra one per cent — on top of a previous planned increase of 0.5 per cent — in 2020 and 2021, before increasing by 1.5 per cent annually until 2025.

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The city said the total tax increase over six years will amount to approximately $280 for the average household.

Funds generated from the building levy will be directed towards transit and housing.

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“What this is meant to do is provide more transit options for people so they don’t have to use their car, which is even more expensive than transit and … it’s meant to provide more affordable housing options for people,” Mayor John Tory said.

The levy hike passed in council Tuesday with only three councilors voting against it, Stephen Holyday, Anthony Perruzza and Michael Ford.