Last month Toronto city council passed the 2015 budget. Many of you contacted my office to ask questions about the waste management rates and property tax increase.
I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what the new rates mean for you and why I couldn’t support them.
The new solid waste rates include higher garbage bin fees in addition to a 3% increase on pick up rates. While that alone is outrageous to ask of the taxpayer, what appalled me as your elected official was the fact this meant the city would be double dipping on your waste rates. Homeowners pay solid waste management rates on their utility bills based on bin size and receive a rebate based on an average cost for pick up decided by the city ($224). However, they are also being charged for garbage pickup on their property tax bills among other fees for city services. Going forward with the new rates implemented April 1, the rebate was decreased for those with medium to extra large bins, who are now paying more than the rate associated with their bin size because of the double dipping.
Everyone is unknowingly paying an extra $224 of hidden tax and on top of that the cost of garbage pickup is actually much lower than it was previouslty as half of the collection services are now contracted out.
With regards to property taxes, city council approved the 2.75% increase proposed by staff. I have never voted in favor of property tax increases and in fact I attempted to move a motion that would allow more seniors to be eligible for the Tax Increase Cancellation program as well as one that would reduce property taxes by $83 per household. Neither passed as most of the people representing this city would rather see you pay more taxes to have city services instead of cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy and amalgamating things like the various housing offices.
These increases are not fair to those who already cannot afford to live in their homes, especially seniors on limited income with many other bills to pay. If you don’t agree with being asked to double dip for garbage collection and being asked to pay more in property taxes please contact mayor John Tory by phone (416-397-2489) or email: email@example.com to make your voice heard.Ward 7 CouncillorGiorgio Mammoliti(Opinions expressed here are those of the councillor and may or may not reflect those of this newspaper or the Emery Village BIA )