Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Canada’s Largest City Continues Wild Spending Spree, Despite New Tax

Canada’s largest city continues to demonstrate its poor management of resident tax dollars, passing the latest in what could be a long line of service fees, increased fines and taxes.

Rather than trying to figure out why they are constantly running out of money, today Toronto City Council voted in a Billboard Tax.

That’s right – a tax on putting up a billboard advertisement. Originally – or so goes the talk at City Hall – the revenues generated from the Billboard Tax were to go into enforcing the laws regulating where, when and how large billboard displays were. However, just as the city’s council voted in favor of passing the new tax, they announce all money collected will go into the city’s general revenue stream, and be budgeted where needed.

This really comes as no surprise, as the City of Toronto, despite being the economic powerhouse of the country, is always short of funds.

Maybe if city politicians actually watched their spending, they’d realize where all the money is disappearing, rather than constantly looking for new ways to gouge their residents to make up for the loss.

It doesn’t take a lot of work to see where some of the wasted dollars are going. Anyone who’s walked outside for even the briefest of moments probably has stumbled upon the new, and modern stylish recycling and garbage bins dotting Toronto’s sidewalks. These new containers are the latest in street fashion – if there ever was a street fashion – they even have a nifty foot pedal which when stomped on opens the doors, so you don’t have to get your fingers messy.

The City of Toronto spent thousands of dollars on these things, yet in these hard times, and with all the new taxes and other ways the city is trying to increase revenues, the first question that springs to mind is – just what was wrong with the old recycling and waste containers on our streets?

The previous containers collected the exact same stuff – pop bottles and cans, paper-based recyclables (like newspapers) and non-recyclables (trash). They were covered, and enclosed just as the new containers were, the only real difference that stands out is that nifty foot pedal.

Did our politicians actually ditch the old containers, just for a nifty foot pedal?

Transit fares are increasing dramatically in the New Year, as are property and water taxes. And the city is looking at implementing new fees on various city-run services which currently cost residents nothing, all because Toronto City Council is crying about how broke they are. But they aren’t too broke to spend whimsically on fancy recycling waste containers with nifty foot pedals.


What’s next, a tax on breathing city-air to fund a much needed replacement of hand-dryers in public washrooms, because the old ones, although they work, they just don’t have that “new” hand dryer smell?

Pot holes riddle Toronto’s roads like raindrops, making any trip hard on drivers, passengers, and their vehicles. Sidewalks, bridges and other city structures are crumbling from age and wear and tear – yet instead of putting money into these much needed projects, Canada’s largest city purchases fashionable items which really didn’t need to be purchased in the first place.

Maybe in the up-coming municipal elections in Toronto in 2010, residents will exercise their right to good government, and vote the current council out.
Because whatever Toronto City Council is at the moment, is anything BUT good for the city.

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