Toronto city council voted to bring in a new surtax on high-value home sales while asking the provincial government for sales tax revenue to help tackle a looming budget crunch.
Mayor Olivia Chow says despite several steps council took during Wednesday’s meeting, the city needs help from the province and federal government to address an estimated $46.5 billion dollars in budget pressures over the next decade.
City council voted Wednesday to ask the province to use its authority to bring in a municipal sales tax for Toronto, or to give the city a portion of its existing Harmonized Sales Tax.
The vote also saw council adopt the new graduated rate on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax for homes valued at $3 million and above and to lift a $5-per-hour cap for on-street parking.
It comes after council considered a major report penned by the city manager that says without new financial tools Toronto won’t be able to provide the services and investment essential to support growth.
City staff were also directed to report back to council ahead of 2024 budget talks about several other possible revenue tools, including a tax on non-residential parking spaces and on foreign home buyers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2023.
The Canadian Press