Toronto-stan Wants To Tax Rain: KINSELLA

 

Pundit Warren Kinsella wants nothing to do with this new Toronto tax:

A rain tax.

Seriously, they want to tax the rain.

Before we get started on the latest insanity to, um, seep out of Toronto’s municipal government, let’s give credit where credit is due, shall we? For sheer gall, for its bottomless brazen brassiness, you can’t beat this one: a tax on rain. You almost have to admire the Bolsheviks who presently run Canada’s largest city, for their inventiveness and their total indifference to the taxpayer.

Almost.


And, let’s make one thing clear: we are not making this up, Virginia.  Toronto-stan’s commissars have even issued a call for people to participate in what they call, benignly, a “Stormwater Charge & Water Service Charge Consultation.”

To read all of Kinsella’s column, click here.

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4 Responses

  1. Donny Brooke says:

    It’s being planned for here in Amalgastan too…

    “One of the recommendations the City is exploring is using impervious surfaces captured using aerial imagery as the basis for allocating stormwater charges”

  2. Ken Gray says:

    Good name Donny.

    cheers

    kgray

  3. Andrew Zenner says:

    There has always been a charge on Ottawa and most other city’s water bills for stormwater. It was, however, typically a fixed charge or a charge based on water usage and had nothing to do with the size of your property or permeability of your property. So while the concept of basing the cost on property permeability might result in a very high upfront cost and another army of civil servants, it is not that far fetched. What is interesting, however, is the disconnect at City Hall. Once again the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. The Water people (right hand) want to minimize run-off by maximizing surface permeability. The Planning people (left hand), would like us to replace single family homes with 4-plexes or the missing middle low-rise apartments that use up far more land on the property by going as close to the lot line as possible (including getting variances from the Committee of Adjustment to get even closer) and usually result in the chopping down of all mature trees which suck up a lot of water. If you ever look at one of the famous 613 houses (multi-units designed to look somewhat like a single family home) they cover almost all of the property creating far more run-off than the single family home they replace. As well, prior to the 90s, apartment buildings and condos were usually surrounded by significant green space (which is actually good for residents including children). Today everything is built right to the sidewalk with zero greenspace on any of the other three sides. At best you get a few planters in front of the building and some trees trying to grow through the sidewalk.

  4. My father kindly shared this article with me. As someone who spends their daily work life focused on natural asset management to support local governments in managing the costs and risks of service delivery, I can’t help but comment on Kinsella’s perspective. Cities are beginning to establish stormwater utilities to address significant shortfalls in funding to undertake necessary upgrades to stormwater infrastructure. Here are my speaking notes from a workshop I delivered with the Natural Assets Initiative (mnai.ca) with funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities: “Some local governments are beginning to be more proactive in the area of stormwater management. The City of Kitchener used to fund stormwater services through property tax revenue, but that meant that managing stormwater services was competing with other services like parks, transportation and social services and it needed to find a way to close a significant funding gap. It implemented stormwater charges to provide a dedicated revenue source for maintaining, operating, and revitalizing stormwater infrastructure. The stormwater fee helped to support natural asset improvements to Victoria Park Lake in Kitchener. The utility charges monthly based on property type for residential users and for non-residential, based on size of impervious area. Monthly charges by property type, ranging from only $11.24 per month for small detached homes with building footprint size of 105 m2 or less: $11.24, all the way to $3,818.29 for non-residential properties with 39,035 m2 or greater of impervious area.”

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