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BIXI bikes, land transfer tax, Porter expansion on executive committee agenda

TORONTO – The mayor’s executive committee will be debating the future of BIXI bikes, the expansion of Porter Airlines and a possible reduction of the municipal land transfer tax on Wednesday.

BIXI Bikes

Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee will be reviewing a report recommending various options for the future of the BIXI bike sharing program.

The report suggests the BIXI bike service could not be operated privately without some level of city subsidy.

TTC Chair originally floated the idea of having the TTC operate the struggling bike-sharing program in May. At the time the mayor suggested that if BIXI can’t turn a profit, it “should just be dissolved.

The details of the report the executive committee will review Wednesday are confidential.

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Municipal Land Transfer Taxes

The executive committee will review a staff report outlining options and consequences of cutting the municipal land transfer tax.

The mayor has pledged to cut the tax by 10 per cent, which could amount to approximately $34.5 million.

Despite claims that the city will face a $150 million hole in the next budget due to recent cuts by the provincial government, the mayor has said he remains committed to cutting the tax.

“They’re trying to force us to keep the Land transfer tax. They’re trying to force us to increase tax. They’re trying to force us to bring back the vehicle registration tax,” he said in June.

Update on Billy Bishop Airport 

The executive committee will review an update on the study of Porter Airlines expansion plans at Billy Bishop Airport.

The airline is seeking changes to the Tripartite Agreement which prohibits jets from landing at the airport and permission to expand the runway by approximately 300 metres.

NoJetsTO, an organization opposing the use of jets at the island airport, criticized the staff report in a press release recently saying the staff report misinterprets how noise levels are “measured and applied.”

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The Tripartite Agreement prohibits jets from landing at Billy bishop Airport because of the purported levels of noise produced by the aircraft. However, Porter Airlines officials are adamant the Bombardier Jets will produce noise levels below the accepted maximum.

Follow a LIVEBLOG of the meeting with Global Toronto reporter Jackson Proskow beginning at 9:30 a.m.

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