You will read in the Toronto Star that Toronto houses are under taxed. This is not true. What is true is that a $500K home in Toronto is taxed less than a $500K home in Brampton or Mississauga.
But, what is a $500K home in terms of support cost?
Mississauga: $658,925 and $540,605
Brampton: $513,092 and $449,093
Toronto: $776,684 and $957,517
The point in the Star article is that a $500K home in Toronto gets a tax break compared to a $500K home in the other municipalities.
I submit that this is fallacious arguing.
The value of a house has little bearing on its cost to the city it is located in. Put it another way, a detached house in Toronto at double the selling value is not twice as expensive to police, supply water/gas/hydro/sewer, pave the road, as a similar house at half the selling value in another municipality.
I can show this with a silly example.
My neighbour and I each win the lottery.
He takes his million dollars and uses it to gold-plate his front door, renovate his basement, whatever. The MPAC value of his house goes up but his cost to the municipality is the same. He pays more taxes
I take my million dollars and tell the police I want extra protection as I have it in negotiable diamonds in my basement. The MPAC value of my house stays down, but my cost to the municipality goes up. My taxes stay the same.
MPAC is a way of deciding who should pay. It should be decided by level of service, but that’s far too logical for politicians. So they say how much they need, spread it over the entire MPAC sum, and tell you what taxes you’ll pay for the privilege of owning your property.
MPAC is imho a crock in that my assessment is similar to, or higher than, my neighbours with significant upgrades I don’t have. If I appeal and my neighbours then get shafted, I’ll still have to live here. So I stay mute.
Saying that Toronto taxes are a ridiculous bargain is ridiculous. If we paid for service, we could be expected to pay more – if we actually got more service. But much of our infrastructure cost is now in transit (pun intended) and we aren’t the only ones driving or commuting or taxiing. So why should we pay for that part of the bill? Why not share it with the commuters?
I had the bad experience of incorrectly going far west of Highway 427 on the Gardiner/QEW rather early in the morning. Twenty minutes west, I turned around to come back. Two hours to get back to the 427 exit. All of those drivers live west of me: Mississauga Brampton whatever. They should pay for the TO area roads. They are using them.
Yes, I am a toll troll.
I also think our politicians are smoking cheap dope. We have a lot of staff suggestions to raise revenue, all of which but tolls have been shot down by cowards afraid of their next time to the polls. We have $32 Billion ‘approved’ in infrastructure costs with no money to pay for any of it. We have a UPX that is a total joke; when ridership was a third of needed to break even, they cut the fare in half – now needing seven times as many riders. Not to mention the one-stop Scarborough subway. Rob Ford must be smiling in his grave.
I am not.
Are you? That’s the dumb question.