Group recommends property tax levy for repair backlog
The Toronto Board of Trade is calling for a special 3 per cent property tax levy that would raise about $40 million this year to fix crumbling roads and pay for other needed capital projects.
The surprise recommendation, made yesterday to council’s budget committee, would add about $64 to taxes on the average home assessed at $365,000.
The board said a special levy is needed to address the city’s repair backlog, estimated at $300 million just for road repairs.
City councillors were taken aback by the board’s presentation, which in previous years had always focused on urging the city to cut costs and keep taxes in line.
"So you’re actually recommending a larger tax increase than we’re recommending?" asked Coun. Gord Perks, a budget committee member.
"What we’re recommending is the need to invest in infrastructure," board of trade president Carol Wilding told the committee, which held public hearings yesterday on the proposed $8.2-billion operating budget for 2008.
"We absolutely can’t wait. There’s a critical need."
The huge sinkhole that suddenly opened this week on Lake Shore Boulevard West is just the kind of traffic-stopping breakdown that costs business big bucks.
The proposal was pooh-poohed by Coun. Shelley Carroll, chair of the budget committee, who noted the board is proposing to exempt businesses, which the board says pays more than enough in property taxes.