Despite repeated mistruths and promises to cut taxes his competitors call irresponsible, Doug Ford (open Doug Ford’s policard) was celebrated at a debate hosted by realtors on Tuesday.
Ford’s defining salvo Tuesday morning at the Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke in front of members of the Toronto Real Estate Board was pushing a platform promise to cut the land transfer tax, which he introduced earlier this month in his bid to replace his ailing brother as mayor.
“We will make sure that we eliminate, right off the hop, 15 per cent of the land transfer tax,” Ford said. “A lot of my friends here want to tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend. I don’t believe in taxing and spending. I believe in saving and putting money back into the peoples’ pocket of this great city.”
Ford has previously promised he would cut up to 60 per cent over four years.
Cutting the land transfer tax was a promise made by his brother Rob Ford (open Rob Ford’s policard) four years ago. But the Fords were not able to scrap the tax without the support of council. During last year’s budget process, city manager Joe Pennachetti said the tax has allowed the city to balance the budget for the past three years.
After the debate, Chow told reporters that Ford’s promise could cost an increase in property taxes by 10 to 15 per cent. She said that would be “unacceptable.”
During the debate, she defended her position to keep the tax despite loud booing from the crowd.
“I’m just being upfront,” she said payday loan. “It’s $300 million and every $25 million is a 1 per cent property tax increase. What you do if we are to reduce the $300 million in revenue, the city’s property tax will dramatically increase and we cannot allow that to happen.”
Tory, who also found support with the realtor crowd despite arguing to keep the tax, said the Ford’s did not deliver on the promise they made four years ago. He said the revenue is needed for big budget items like public transit.
“I don’t believe you can start doing away with taxes of any kind before you spell out where you’re going to get the money from to replace it,” Tory said during the debate. “When he was told he couldn’t four years ago, in fact, he and his administration didn’t and that’s because it wasn’t realistic then and it isn’t realistic now. I wish I could tell you what you wanted to hear.”
In 2013, the land transfer tax brought in $357 million. With the cuts Ford is proposing, he would need to make up $214 million in revenue. He has previously said that at least $90 million would come from outsourcing garbage in the east end and at least $50 million in other efficiencies. But that still leaves the city at least $50 million short.
Earlier in the campaign, a joint press release with TREB said Ford would be meeting with the board to discuss the tax.
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