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Toronto - Out of Money Again


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It is not clear to me how these extra activities are funded. I'm in Mississauga and while the school offers many of these activies, it is the parents who are expected to fund it.

From my discussions, some with students (friends kids) and with Board employees , the kids elect where to go and dont pay for the transport nor the cost of the activity. I do not know if that has changed.

As for increasing the prop taxes, I just cant see it. The end costs to the homeowner would spell disaster. With the current values and MVA, the money is there, it is the other costs and downloading that is killing the city.

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What pisses me off about this fiasco is Miller and the panning folks must have known there would be a crisis at least a couple of years ago yet they continued to spend like drunken sailors.

So now they talk about making drastic cuts to essential services like fire and safety and the TTC. Bugger that nonsence, they should be axing non essential fluff like the Toronto Arts Council. TAC is fione and dandy and a good thing when there is money to spend, but quite frankly I think libraries are more important. Let the TAC hibernate a few winters and you save over $10 million a year.

They should be intituting nominal users fees for things like pools. As a child in the 60s I paid a dime to use theneighbourhood pool in montreal. In Toronto I pay Nada.

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Toronto needs to raise it's property taxes, they are still lower than many rural areas. The year we moved out of the GTA, the taxes on our Toronto house were $800.00 less than a lower valued home we bought in the country. I talked to our old neighbours a while ago and it seems there is still a difference, Toronto is still lower for higher valued houses.

I agree they need to prioritize and funding the arts is not a priority, and heck what's $20,000 when you can debate Withdrawing Support For Canadian Troops

http://www.taxpayer.com/main/news.php?news_id=2594

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As for increasing the prop taxes, I just cant see it. The end costs to the homeowner would spell disaster.

No it wouoldn't, it is just some people would have to move. If you can not live within your means, you have to move to a less expensive area if you own, or be evicted if you rent. If the area has become too expensive, too bad. Times change. In time, the law of the jungle will sort it all out.

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No it wouoldn't, it is just some people would have to move. If you can not live within your means, you have to move to a less expensive area if you own, or be evicted if you rent. If the area has become too expensive, too bad. Times change. In time, the law of the jungle will sort it all out.

I can't express in polite words how naive that statement is. Living within one's means is one thing, and very admirable at that. But it is a different thing when government taxes you out of your home. It's fine and dandy to talk about the law of the jungle when it's a constant, but when that law keeps changing it's a different thing entirely.

Your cavalier attitude towards the issue speaks volumes. Are you a young, non-home owning member of the NDP?

This city needs to take a long hard look at it's spending practices. There are essential services and non-essential services. Take care of the essential ones first. Get creative with how to fund them.

Then take a look at non essential services. Fund them through the remaining revenue and/or institute user fees in needed. I too remember paying 50 cents to use a pool in Scarborough as a kid. It made sense to me then and still does.

You can't keep having home owners and businesses paying the bulk of the expenses...it is simply not sustainable in the long run.

Edited by john farson
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Well, we're still waiting on McGuinty to uphold the promise he made last election to start paying for the cost of provincial services that Mike Harris downloaded onto the city. If he did that there would be no budget crisis - end of story.

Unlike most other industrialized nations Canada treats ALL of its cities with contempt in terms of funding, only the actions of a few enlightened provincial governments lead certain cities to excell (Quebec - Montreal, BC - Vancouver). Cities are still governed in this country like they were at the turn of the 19th century.

The future of the global economy is all about creating creative, dynamic and connected cities - we already have cities like that, but rather than capitalizing on this and pushing their growth even further, provincial & federal politicians are exploiting them for the money they generate and investing it in other areas of the country/province that can get them more votes next election.

This is especially true for Toronto - the great Canadian pastime of Toronto-bashing has lead to any sort of major investment in Toronto being looked upon distastefully from the larger Canadian public. Meaning that investing in Toronto looses votes overall, while investing in other areas of the country gains them. Of course, this means money isn't going to where it will be best used towards generating even more money - it goes to projects and policies which cost more than the amount of money they end up generating.

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Well, we're still waiting on McGuinty to uphold the promise he made last election to start paying for the cost of provincial services that Mike Harris downloaded onto the city. If he did that there would be no budget crisis - end of story.

Unlike most other industrialized nations Canada treats ALL of its cities with contempt in terms of funding, only the actions of a few enlightened provincial governments lead certain cities to excell (Quebec - Montreal, BC - Vancouver). Cities are still governed in this country like they were at the turn of the 19th century.

The future of the global economy is all about creating creative, dynamic and connected cities - we already have cities like that, but rather than capitalizing on this and pushing their growth even further, provincial & federal politicians are exploiting them for the money they generate and investing it in other areas of the country/province that can get them more votes next election.

This is especially true for Toronto - the great Canadian pastime of Toronto-bashing has lead to any sort of major investment in Toronto being looked upon distastefully from the larger Canadian public. Meaning that investing in Toronto looses votes overall, while investing in other areas of the country gains them. Of course, this means money isn't going to where it will be best used towards generating even more money - it goes to projects and policies which cost more than the amount of money they end up generating.

Socialist experiments usually run amok when they run out of other people's money.

That seems to be the case of the city government of Toronto now.

----

The "global" economy is based on the ability of individuals to trade and deal with one another. Our future is based on individuals' ability to invent and create.

In general, I would not look to unionized municipal workers for originality or cooperation. City governments should clear trash and ensure safe streets. This is their critical contribution to life's existence, and critical it is. When cities attempt more, there's no originality at all.

Edited by August1991
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The "global" economy is based on the ability of individuals to trade and deal with one another. Our future is based on individuals' ability to invent and create.

And where does this activity happen? Does it happen in rural areas? In suburbs? No - it happens in cities, and it happens MOST often in the world's great global cities, especially places like NYC, London, Paris, etc. These are also the places where organizations/corporations representing groups of individuals (be they stockholders or a group of farmers) deal with other groups representing individuals. Cities are the generators of this type of activity. And the ones that generate the most are ones which are well-funded and empowered by law with freedom over various aspects of the region they govern.

City governments should clear trash and ensure safe streets. This is their critical contribution to life's existence, and critical it is. When cities attempt more, there's no originality at all.

How can you say that when we know that the most wealth-producing regions on earth are cities - cities which have municipal governments which have done much, much, more than garbage collection and police?

Look at the world's great global cities such as the ones mentioned earlier: London, Paris, NYC - toss in others like Chicago, Milan, Madrid, Amsterdam, Singapore, etc and you'll see that these cities which generate tons of commerce (and gov't revenue) all have heavily invested in things other than garbage and cops including: transit, social services, public spaces, development, etc.

They've also all been viewed by their state and/or national governments as being high-priority for consistent investment in capital funds for projects and operational funds. As a result they have the financial (and legal) freedom to innovate ways to deal with a range of issues. It just makes sense to empower local government - it's always more efficient than having the feds handle local issues.

There are few successful cities on earth which have only focused on things like garbage and police as you suggest. And I think that in fact when cities try to do more and innovate they end up producing some pretty remarkable things and communities.

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Well, we're still waiting on McGuinty to uphold the promise he made last election to start paying for the cost of provincial services that Mike Harris downloaded onto the city. If he did that there would be no budget crisis - end of story.

Oh you mean the promise he made after hearing the budget deleivered by Lyin' Jim Flaherty? Why is Conrad Black going to jail while ol' lyin' Jim has been promoted?

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Higgley, have you bothered for a moment to consider that this is a top down problem starting at the federal level? I am Ontario born and raised, and I moved into Quebec for a while. It was only after living in Quebec that I realized I had to do a lot of research about Canada's financial picture, because something smelled rotten about Quebec. What I discovered is that Quebec is getting far more than its per capita share of the federal funds. Ontario is an incrediblywealthy state, it puts in about half of all taxes going into federal coffers each year...around 100+ billion. Yet Ontario gets only around 30 billion back of that 100+ billion for funding of its own programs. The federal government collects, by comparison, only about 50+ billion each year in federal revenues from Quebec....Yet Quebec, with a significantly SMALLER population than Ontario, is now getting around 60 billion back in funding for its programs. That's twice as much as Ontario gets, and way more than Quebec puts into the federation. This means that Quebec is a welfare state. It also means that Quebec is using Ontario's money to fund ambitious social programs which Ontarians cannot afford because they have to fund Quebec. These programs include dirt cheap day care and dirt cheap tuition fees to students from Quebec and other French speaking countries like France. But, even though English Canada is funding these ambitious social programs like dirt cheap tuition fees in Quebec, our own students from English Canada have to pay three times as much money in tuition than the students from FRANCE to go to a university like McGill.

My conclusion, Higgley, is that you need to do a whole lot more research. I suggest you study the Tranfer Payments Section of the federal financial statements where you will see that far too much of the federation's (especially Ontario's) money is going to Quebec and to French interests. Very little is coming back to Ontario or English Canada in general.

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If you want to believe McGuinty, most of Toronto's budget problems may be solved if he's re-elected . . .

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/248228

It's a "good step."

That's the unanimous sentiment of 905 mayors and officials reacting yesterday to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's plan to take back a $935 million load dropped on municipalities' shoulders.

While mayors, including Mississauga's Hazel McCallion, Brampton's Susan Fennell and Vaughan's Linda Jackson, are "ecstatic" and "pleased" by the provincial Liberals' plan to upload the cost of two social services, downloaded to municipalities by a Conservative regime in 1998, they say it's not a full solution to their funding woes.

. . . Toronto's share would be $217 million - Which proves that yes, in fact, Toronto's budget crisis is mainly a result of provincial downloading. If you add onto that the money that the city would recieve if the province returned to Bill Davis' formal of partially funding municipal transit - there would be no budget crisis.

If Ontario (and the feds) funded Toronto the way New York State and the federal government fund NYC - there would be no budget problems.

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Which proves that yes, in fact, Toronto's budget crisis is mainly a result of provincial downloading. If you add onto that the money that the city would recieve if the province returned to Bill Davis' formal of partially funding municipal transit - there would be no budget crisis.

How is it possible then that Mississauga doesn't face the same budget crisis as Toronto when they too suffered the same downloading?

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What pisses me off about this fiasco is Miller and the panning folks must have known there would be a crisis at least a couple of years ago yet they continued to spend like drunken sailors.

So now they talk about making drastic cuts to essential services like fire and safety and the TTC. Bugger that nonsence, they should be axing non essential fluff like the Toronto Arts Council. TAC is fione and dandy and a good thing when there is money to spend, but quite frankly I think libraries are more important. Let the TAC hibernate a few winters and you save over $10 million a year.

They should be intituting nominal users fees for things like pools. As a child in the 60s I paid a dime to use theneighbourhood pool in montreal. In Toronto I pay Nada.

O and I bet that dime really adde up. Let's see. One hundred thousand dimes would produce an income of $10,000. And then, the cost of collecting that dime and administering the money would be...

Miller spending like a sailor? When? Where? Let's see some links please. I don't believe you.

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How is it possible then that Mississauga doesn't face the same budget crisis as Toronto when they too suffered the same downloading?

Infrastructure baby. Infrastructure. In Mississauga, it's all new. In Toronto, they're still trying to replace the lead water pipes put in at the turn of the century. Of course then we have Denzel Minan-Wong's pimple cream prescriptions. That adds up, you know.

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Toronto's property tax rate is nearly 160% that of Calgary's.

Toronto Residential Tax Rate: 0.8528434%

Calgary Residential Tax Rate: 0.54614%

Other property is even more taxed in T.O..

You see, those little perks have big price tags. It doesn't cost much to fund the basics, but when you want better you need to pay alot more for it. Toronto can be run just fine on less money, but they want the sweet subway and Go-Trains (not sure if that's tax subsidied) and bazillion highways. Which is nice. But it comes at a price.

If Torontonians demand that level of service, then apply that level of taxation.

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Well, we're still waiting on McGuinty to uphold the promise he made last election to start paying for the cost of provincial services that Mike Harris downloaded onto the city. If he did that there would be no budget crisis - end of story.

In Toronto they are always waiting for government to do everything for them.

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Infrastructure baby. Infrastructure. In Mississauga, it's all new. In Toronto, they're still trying to replace the lead water pipes put in at the turn of the century. Of course then we have Denzel Minan-Wong's pimple cream prescriptions. That adds up, you know.

How new is Mississauga's infrastructure and who paid of it?

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Not much understanding of the issue huh?

On your part there isn't.

As I said before Toronto is always waiting around for government to do everything for them. Remember when Toronto had their little snow storm and they had to call in the army, to, I guess plow the streets for them. I never really understood that. The army is a fighting machine, they have tanks and artillery but I don't think they have much for snow plows. Anyway, the rest of the country had a pretty good laugh over that one.

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As I said before Toronto is always waiting around for government to do everything for them. Remember when Toronto had their little snow storm and they had to call in the army, to, I guess plow the streets for them. I never really understood that. The army is a fighting machine, they have tanks and artillery but I don't think they have much for snow plows. Anyway, the rest of the country had a pretty good laugh over that one.

Maybe torontonians are sick of providing the capital that runs this country....well not all of it but a major share and not seeing any return?

Maybe TO'ins are sick of having to provide services to the extent no other city has to provide? You dont see many homeless in Parry Sound or Sudbury or from other provinces as they move to this city for sustenance?

Those are a couple. Along with infrastructure (narrow streets) as mentioned earlier we do have budget problems. Now I will not take anything away from the a-hat that is in charge of this city, he is a doofus Mayor and should never have been elected but not much can be done with that right now.

And then to show you really do not understand you bring up the old reliable "call in the army" as arranged by good old Mel. ( As an aside, the army is always called in for disasters , minor and major, natural and man made-floods, earthquakes etc)

When you have a major snowstorm and 5+ million people (almost twice your whole province) trying to get to work or conduct business things can get hectic.There was nowhere to put that snow, and I mean nowhere. It also will stall our economy and trade. Toronto's streets are not wide like elsewhere , Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg and those are small cities in comparison.

We who live in the city understand the amusement when the ROC looks out the front window and sees nothing but land and snow and wonders why they can't just shovel it themselves. But then we forget that the "locals" in those areas aren't bright enough to see the whole picture. Obviously you were one of them .

The 401 highway gets shut down from time to time due to truck rollovers et al, and the business losses are in the millions , and thats for mere hours of downtime. Now magnify that by days and the ROC will be bitching about increased costs.

Everything shipped by truck goes thru TO , and the 401 is the premier route.

It may have been a bit over the top , but kudos went to that mayor for getting this city moving and keeping the province running.

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