Should Toronto hike its property taxes?

While Toronto Mayor John Tory thinks this year’s budget is “just right,” one critic argues that failing to hike property taxes above the rate of inflation will end up making the city less affordable for everyone.

A 2.1% property tax hike anchors this year’s budget. For the average homeowner, this amounts to about $81 more than last year.

Gord Perks, Councillor for Parkdale-High Park, says he’ll push to increase that rate to generate more money that can be funnelled into municipal services, from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to childcare, even if it’s unlikely to pass.

“Right now, if you own a lot of real estate, the city of Toronto is a gold mine for you,” he told CBC Toronto. “If you’re someone who’s just trying to go about their business and live your life, the city’s becoming less and less affordable.”

Tory has rejected this notion, adding that the budget not only helps homeowners, but also encompasses “significant” spending in a number of areas, from homeless shelters to two-hour transfers on the TTC.

For the mayor, freezing property tax hikes was a campaign promised he’d kept.

“We’ve restrained the level of increase in property taxation to the rate of inflation for four years in a row,” he said during the last executive committee meeting.

Property taxes have been kept low for a decade, with an average hike of just 2.4%. City of Toronto records show that over this period, the biggest increase was 4%, approved by the Miller administration in 2009. In 2011, the Ford administration froze the tax completely.

Data from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) shows that over the same period, the average sale price of homes has more than doubled, rising from $379,347 in 2007 to $822,727 in 2017.

In 2007, the average tax bill was $2,175; this year, the estimate is under $3,000.

While Toronto Mayor John Tory thinks this year’s budget is “just right,” one critic argues that failing to hike property taxes above the rate of inflation will end up making the city less affordable for everyone.

A 2.1% property tax hike anchors this year’s budget. For the average homeowner, this amounts to about $81 more than last year.

Gord Perks, Councillor for Parkdale-High Park, says he’ll push to increase that rate to generate more money that can be funnelled into municipal services, from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to childcare, even if it’s unlikely to pass.

“Right now, if you own a lot of real estate, the city of Toronto is a gold mine for you,” he told CBC Toronto. “If you’re someone who’s just trying to go about their business and live your life, the city’s becoming less and less affordable.”

Tory has rejected this notion, adding that the budget not only helps homeowners, but also encompasses “significant” spending in a number of areas, from homeless shelters to two-hour transfers on the TTC.

For the mayor, freezing property tax hikes was a campaign promised he’d kept.

“We’ve restrained the level of increase in property taxation to the rate of inflation for four years in a row,” he said during the last executive committee meeting.

Property taxes have been kept low for a decade, with an average hike of just 2.4%. City of Toronto records show that over this period, the biggest increase was 4%, approved by the Miller administration in 2009. In 2011, the Ford administration froze the tax completely.

Data from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) shows that over the same period, the average sale price of homes has more than doubled, rising from $379,347 in 2007 to $822,727 in 2017.

In 2007, the average tax bill was $2,175; this year, the estimate is under $3,000.

 

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