The windfall from phasing out the hated “Toronto tax” — hundreds of millions of dollars sent from the suburbs each year to bolster social services in Toronto — provided a much-needed respite for municipalities that normally face hefty tax hikes.
For taxpayers in Halton, Peel and York regions, it meant an extra $6 million to $13 million stayed in regional coffers instead of going to the big city. And that amount will continue to increase during the seven-year phaseout.
At the height of social-services pooling — the brainchild of former premier Mike Harris — the province required municipalities around Toronto to transfer between $41 million (Halton) and $79 million (York) each year to Toronto. Peel sent about $60 million. (Durham Region was not required to participate.) When pooling is phased out completely, they will have all that extra money each year to help at budget time.

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