Mayor works the phones on eve of key vote on taxes

Toronto Mayor David Miller spent the weekend working the phones to drum up support for controversial tax increases that will hit Toronto homeowners and vehicle owners as the city struggles to overcome a $500-million budget deficit.


But on the eve of what observers are calling the most important vote of his administration so far, even Miller conceded he won’t know what will happen until Toronto city council votes today on the contentious measures: Authorizing the city to implement a land transfer tax that could see homebuyers paying nearly $5,000 more on an average ($380,000) Toronto house; and an annual vehicle registration tax that would cost car owners $60.


“I am confident I have done everything I can, and the path is very clear,” Miller told the Toronto Star yesterday. “The majority (of councillors) will do what is right,” he said, confessing he spent the weekend “working the phones” to convince wavering councillors.


The alternative, proponents note, would be tax hikes, service cuts or both. But opponents of the taxes say councillors who vote in favour will pay a political price.