The City of Toronto is facing a major budget shortfall for 2017 – both for operating costs and capital costs. The problem is not that spending is too high, but that revenues are too low. Following extensive research, City staff has identified a number of revenue options, ranging from higher residential property taxes, increased land transfer taxes, hotel tax, reinstitute vehicle registration tax and implement expressway tolling. These will be subject to additional analysis and public consultation.
However, in a bold and remarkable speech at the Toronto Region Board of Trade on November 24 (with TAO in the audience), Toronto Mayor Tory publically stated his preference for tolls on the Gardiner and Don Valley Expressways, raising about $200M/yr to be dedicated for transit capital expansion. The statement caused a Canada-wide media sensation, with plenty of comments pro/con.
TAO has long supported new revenue tools for transit, especially ones like road pricing that raise revenue and incent drivers to switch to more sustainable transportation modes. We will continue to advocate for and support efforts to introduce such tools in Toronto and other Ontario municipalities