Mayor Rob Ford got his first win today as council voted 39-6 to scrap the vehicle registration tax as of Jan. 1.
“It’s a great day for the taxpayers of Toronto,” he said in a media scrum Thursday afternoon. “We just put $64 million back into their pockets and they can do what they want. They can create jobs and stimulate the economy or they can save it.”
“I’m glad we finally got rid of it and I look forward to saving the taxpayers more money in the next four years,” he said. “I just want to bring back respect for taxpayers at city hall.”
It will cost the city $64 million to repeal the tax, $48 million in lost annual revenue plus $12 million for refunds for car owners who paid their 2011 tax in advance. The city doesn’t yet know how it will make up the revenue, but that will be dealt with during the budget process.
The mayor has repeatedly said cutting this fee won’t lead to service cuts or a property tax increase.
This tax cost car owners $60 when they renewed their vehicle license.
Ford says he knows what he’ll do with $60 more in his pocket.
However, if your birthday is in December, you’ll still have to pay the tax.
“I can’t go back and fix everything or repair everything (retroactively),” he said.
Councillors Janet Davis, Sarah Doucette, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks and Adam Vaughan voted against repealing the tax now for various reasons including their residents support keeping the tax to the city doesn’t have a plan to replace the revenue, yet.