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Toronto Taxes

By smithdm3 - Posted on 27 March 2007

My, oh my... Toronto is going to become even more expensive to live in. This article talks about the new taxes that the city is thinking of bringing using the "City of Toronto Act" brought in by the provincial government.

The taxes (some listed below from the Star) include sin taxes like an additional 5% on alcohol and cigarettes, an increase in the land transfer tax (0.5%) and a vehicle registration fee of $40. Not only that, but they want to put a tax on entertainment such as live events and movies. And finally they'll really nail drivers with fees for parking spaces (paid by the owner, but of course passed on to the consumer) and possibly a toll or congestion charge for using the DVP or Gardiner.

Wow... they expect to raise $340 million from all that, talk about crazy. And all this is on top of a 3.8% increase on Toronto property taxes. Woo... I hope Ottawa doesn't feel the need to keep up.

Proposed wallet bites by city hall (from the Toronto Star)
Suggested taxes with estimated yearly revenue:
(all taxes based on pre-GST values)
Vehicle registration tax: $40 per vehicle: $43 million
Land transfer tax: 0.5 per cent of sale price: $103 million
Alcohol: 5 per cent tax at beer, wine and liquor stores: $44 million
Alcohol: 5 per cent tax on drinks in bars and restaurants: $24 million
Tobacco: 5 per cent tax: $25 million
Movies: 5 per cent tax: $4 million
Live sports events: 5 per cent tax: $7 million
Live entertainment tax: 5 per cent tax; $6 million
Parking: $100 annual fee per space for parking lot owners: $7 million
Billboard tax: $2 million
Road tolls or congestion tax: $75 million

Total: $340 million

This is crazy Dave! One thing I'm confused about though is the vehicle registration tax. Vehicles are registered with the province - not the city - so how do they go about enforcing this? I guess the province would have to buy into this and then based on your address I guess you'd get nailed with this extra $40. In that case, would it only be people who live 'downtown' who get charged the extra $40 when they register their car with the province?

From the looks of things - in addition to having to pay all these new taxes - you'd also have to pay GST on them?!

This is yet another reason I'm glad I don't live in TO, but regardless, I really don't like the precedent that this would set. We already pay taxes to the federal government (income, GST) and the provincial government (income, PST) and even to the municipal government (land transfer and property taxes) - this new proposal amounts to basically a municipal sales tax (albeit on a limited scale, but give it time) which is ridiculous!

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