[URBAN NOTE] “Highway toll plan prompts anger, sense of inevitability, from 905 politicians”
The Toronto Star‘s San Grewal reports upon the generally negative reaction in Toronto’s suburbs, among politicans and the general population alike, to the proposed road tolls. I feel relatively little sympathy with this argument: Making people from the 915 area code pay for some municipal services they use in the city of Toronto makes sense to me.
GTA politicians in the 905 say Toronto’s decision to push a toll on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, which are used heavily by 905 residents, is, at the very least, disappointing because there was no consultation, and, at worst, a move that will enrage commuters.
“I think this is a short-sighted solution to Toronto’s problems — they’re literally taxing the 905 to pay for Toronto’s problems,” said Durham Region Chair Roger Anderson.
He said with all the special municipal revenue tools only Toronto has, such as a land-transfer tax, under the Toronto Act, many aren’t being used or are used at rates that don’t capture fair market pricing.
“But they want to keep property taxes so low. A $500,000 house in the 905 pays almost double the property tax that a $500,000 house in Toronto pays,” he noted.
Anderson said tolls will end up hurting Toronto businesses. “I think this is going to backfire.”