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Court cuts city’s year-old billboard tax, Toronto could lose millions

An Ontario court has cut the reach of Toronto’s year-old billboard tax, potentially costing the city millions.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled the tax can’t be applied to existing billboards, according to the Toronto Star.

Toronto can still impose a tax on new billboards but those legally erected before 2010 will not be affected.

When the tax was approved in December 2009, it was expected to generate $10.4 million in revenue annually.

Because of Thursday’s decision, that amount is expected to drop to $2 million.

City council could appeal the decision. However, when Mayor Rob Ford was a councillor, he voted against the tax.

Many arts groups in the city had pushed for the tax, saying the funds could be used to fund art – not ads – in public space.