City building levy hike approved by Toronto city council

By News staff

Toronto city council has approved a proposed hike to the city building levy that will be used to help pay for transit and housing.

Mayor John Tory had proposed extending the city building fund for another six years and increasing the levy to almost 10 per cent over that span, starting with a 1 per cent increase in 2020 and 2021. It’s currently a 0.5 per cent.

The vote passed 21-3 with Councillors Michael Ford, Anthony Perruzza and Stephen Holyday voting against extending the city building fund.

The increase is expected to cost the average household $43 more a year.

“We have a great city. It is a city today that is the envy of other cities around the world. It is a very successful city. It has an economy that is crucial to the success not only of our own people but to the success of the province and of the country. And I believe that to protect that success and encourage further prosperity going forward, that we have to make these decisions, which I firmly believe are the right decisions,” Tory said ahead of the meeting.

The city building levy is listed on property tax bills and is used for transit and housing projects.

The money from the increased levy would help fund the city’s new 10-year, $23.4 billion action plan that would approve 40,000 affordable housing units, as well as go toward the TTC’s state of good repair.

A motion, put forward by Councilor Mike Colle, that would see property tax bill contain a line that indicates 92 per cent of all taxes paid by residents go to the federal and provincial government and only 8 per cent goes to the city was also passed.

The two-day council meeting is the last one of the year.

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