New Interview with HEADSPACE

Interview about the Toronto city budget, with HEADSPACE, went live today. A couple of key take-aways…

On Rob Ford’s elimination of the Vehicle Registration Tax:

“… Ford was right that the tax discriminated against suburbanites versus those living downtown, as there are probably a lot more people in the centre of the city surviving without a car. If you’re going to use the tax system to discourage car travel, it makes infinitely more sense to base a tax on use rather than ownership… If you don’t improve public transit but just levy charges, then all you’re doing is angering people. That was the major issue with the vehicle registration tax…”

On Toronto “living within its means”:

“… the government’s means consist of what citizens are prepared to pay for the services they’re provided. A city’s means aren’t fixed. A government’s means are determined politically, just as government expenses are determined politically. To say that the City should ‘live within its means’ is to say nothing whatsoever. It only masks an argument for less services…”

On Ford’s decision to freeze property taxes:

“I think it’s crazy.”

Also discussed: negativity in tax discourse, elimination of extraneous expenses from the Toronto budget.

[These types of posts could also be used to expand on something that came up in the interview but you weren’t able to go into.]

About hugh@HMA

Freelance consulting progressive economist.
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