TRANSIT FUNDING: Gas tax of 5 or 10 cents a litre recommended

A new report that looks at how to pay for GTHA transit expansion is released.

It starts with 3 cents a litre in 2015 and will only go up from there.

A gas tax is one of the recommendations from a panel focusing on how the province can pay for transit expansion in the GTHA - namely the $50 billion Big Move plan proposed by Metrolinx.

There are two gas tax options. One, maxes out at 5 cents a litre and the other 10 cents a litre.

Panel head Anne Golden says while everyone in the province would have to pay they won't be funding public transit in the GTHA. Money raised in Timmins or North Bay would go to other infrastructure projects around the province.

Other recommendations: a corporate tax hike and moving around some of the revenue made off the the HST.

The Golden panel doesn't recommend road tolls or parking levies, calling them too complicated to implement.

It also recommends setting up a trust for all dedicated transit funding.

The strategy outlined in the panel's report would bring in between $1.7-$1.8 billion each year for the province when fully implemented.

The province would still have to adopt these recommendations.

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  1. Jim posted on 12/12/2013 07:50 AM
    Why is it that the Liberals and the Left in general are so dismally out of touch with economic reality? There is a reason why taxes are considered a minus in any economic equation, because they take money out of the system. Further, while 3 or 4 dollars a tank doesn't sound like much look at the big picture. For someone like me who fills twice a week just to get back and forth to work that's an extra $8 a week or $400 a year that I can not spend at my local retailers. Now multiply that by a couple million tax payers and that a huge chuck of money not being put into the economy. If people don't spend companies don't hire, jobs aren't created, companies contract, move or simply disappear and an economy stagnates. Further, this tax isn't in isolation. It will push the cost of everything we buy up because it will cost more to transport the goods. So that will mean even less discretionary income to spend and the downward economic spiral continues and grows.

    Paying for transit is a simple matter really. First, get government out of areas they shouldn't be in and let the private sector fill those roles. Second, bring public sector wages in line with the private sector. Third, hold parties accountable financially for their inappropriate actions, the Gas Plants for instance. And finally, encourage business to set up shop in Ontario with things like lower hyro rates, more equitable labor laws and such.
    1. LRB posted on 12/12/2013 05:31 PM
      @Jim Sorry Jim, but as an economist you score zero, so it might be better if you keep your wrong opinions to yourself. Taxation does not take money out of the system. The money taken is spent within the system -- in this case, it would create construction jobs. This is not hard to understand. Money paid to private sector firms that are based outside Canada, or money that is contributed to corporate profits is often taken ut of the system by shareholders who invest it in foreign securities or, even more dismal, by Canadian companies that sit on their massive retained earnings and do not spend on new equipment or research.

      I am not against capitalism. I am against capitalism when it is not working, which is the case currently in Canada. At least governments spend the money and pump it back inot the economy (even if they don't spend it all that wisely).
  2. Frankie posted on 12/12/2013 07:57 AM
    Now that the Liberals have "stolen" over $ 1 Billion over gas plants, blown a few billion on eHealth, Ornge, wasted billions on green energy, OPG, we need to tax you even more for transit.

    We're the most incompetent government in Ontario history; please trust us with even more of your money but don't expect us to find ways to save money.

    Welcome to Ontario!
  3. Jeff posted on 12/12/2013 08:37 AM
    Maybe they should try cutting first. Lets say 40% of the management positions at OPG (and their board of directors) along with any other government departments/agencies that are management heavy.
  4. Karl Burgin posted on 12/12/2013 09:46 AM
    Oh...its no biggie. Just the price of another small cup of coffee- from Starbucks. I'm sure we can manage this tax hike.
    Oh, but wait. If the tax on gas goes up, wouldn't the gas expenses for TTC buses go up too- especially when they've recently 'upped' the price of fares.
    And then there gas expenses for truckers that transport food and goods in and around the province. And then there's the guaranteed price hike for those that do services for homes and businesses (IT service, pest control, food/good deliveries etc...).
    All of a sudden, this is beginning to not look like such a hot idea- and these are just the consequences off the top of my head. With all the price consequences of this tax hike, I better fill up my Timmies Card.
    And on top of that, we are entrusting the current goevernment with MORE of our money- when clearly they have demonstrated their inept incompetency with money they already grab from us.

    So you mean to tell me, that they wasted money on some panel to research ways of generating more revenue to fund their Big Move, and the only solution they came up with is a tax hike??!?!? A solution that a monkey could come up with on a bad day?!?!?
    I am eager to see how the defenders of this government, and their bright ideas support this one.

    And to those that would like to blame this on Rob Ford, and his subway- don't bother. It has to do with the Big Move, and the $2 Billion/per year the province would like to generate. Maybe they should have thought about that before blowing our money left, right and center.
  5. john posted on 12/12/2013 10:25 AM
    how about a 5% hike to anybody who can knock some senses into these stupid blood sucking maggots . these morons keep it up there will be a upraising people will be so pissed they would be lucky if they win the next election . sucks we have to put up with these assholes for another year . hopefuy karma willl show up and kick there ass . a bunch of losers .
  6. Gino posted on 12/12/2013 11:14 AM
    how about for starters we don't let manjacake sociopath idiots like Rob Ford have any say on anything regarding transit matters. this hick doesnt know an LRT from a donkey wagon. 2 freakin billion that we pay for the next 30 years for a subway to the ghettos that will be underused. (see Sheppard line) get off at one of those east stop lines and tell me what's there. just a handful of cakes living beside strip malls.
    experienced professional transit planners working along side experienced economists and financial people reporting to unbiased non political body's should be the ones we take direction from working together with all levels of government.
    all the drunks and hosers from the burbs who want to bring their freakin cars downtown and clog the whole core on wknds should pay out of their freakin nose for parking. double or triple the amount now. that's a good start in funding transit
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/12/2013 11:29 AM
      @Gino "It’s still a far cry from the $2-billion required for Metrolinx’s The Big Move."

      I've already said this has nothing to do with Rob Ford, or the subway. This is for infrastructure improvements, stretching all the way from Hamilton into Toronto. This has to do with the Bog Move, pushed by Wynne and Metrolinx.
      I know it's hard for your people when viewing the world through a lens that blames Rob Ford for everything. In this instance, you better change glasses, because its your trusty Premiere, who is to blame.
      Please read the article before you start spouting.
    2. Mark7 posted on 12/12/2013 01:03 PM
      @Gino My my my. You have some issues with non Italians? Seek help. You can have spend and corrupt happy lefties, I will take Mr. Ford.
  7. john posted on 12/12/2013 11:27 AM
    i got a better ideal

    how about we make politicians pay 100 times more tax then we do . out of thre own pocket not form tax payers .

    if i ran a store and a politician comes in to my store i will charge him 100 times then the price if he bitches about it i will say to him well if u stop raising tax's for no reason then i will will not charge u to much .
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/12/2013 12:00 PM
      @john That would require the politician identifying himself as one. In the interest of not paying 100 times more than the average person, I can bet that he/she will probably put on a disguise, and lie about being in politics.

      Can't count on them telling the truth to save their life.
      A better solution would be to have them hooked up a portable lie-detection device, attached to an electrified dog collar- and make sure to increase the voltage. I would gladly see my gas bill go up 5%, if the funds go towards that.
  8. frank posted on 12/12/2013 12:44 PM
    1. Cut 100 employees from each of Ontario's 220+ hospitals. Having up to 10 employees per bed is ridiculous. This is enough to fund all expansion in Ont.
    2. Put busways where they are needed and cancel LRTs, except Eglinton and Kennedy to Scar. Town Centre.
    3. Spend $50B per kn to tunnel and line subways. (that's what Eglinton-Crosstown cost)
    4. Use Go lines for DRL.
    5. Cut 30% of the province's 1.33M gov workers. There are only 6.8M private sector workers to carry them.
    6. Cut waste and give taxpayers refunds to spend in the economy to create jobs and by goods and services they want.
    1. Ronald Wilson posted on 12/14/2013 12:50 PM
      @frank Frank - I don't know what planet your hospital is on. It certainly is not Ontario. Have you had a hospital stay recently? Have you talked to nurses about their job conditions? I thought not by your comments. The system is short of doctors and nurses. So look elsewhere for cuts. You will not find significant support for cuts to health care. Toronto faces gridlock with vehicular traffic. The GTA needs more streetcar and trolley lines with automobile bans in the core south of Bloor Street, the exception being property owners and commercial vehicles. Look for efficient cost saving methods that lower capital and maintenance costs. More of the same expensive projects are bound to be a losers for Torontonians and provincial taxpayers at large.
  9. Stephen posted on 12/12/2013 01:37 PM
    1. john posted on 12/12/2013 01:46 PM
      @Stephen in a war room watching the news getting ready for combat getting as much info as he can from the liberals and NDP so he can use it as ammo in the next election . he should have a massive of pile of ammo by now .
    2. Stug posted on 12/12/2013 04:07 PM
      @Stephen Tim who? Oh... that guy on the sidelines.
      As we speak Tim is working on his own funding formula for transit which he will reveal shortly.
      here is his 3 step plan:

      Tim Hudak
      leader of the do nothing party!
  10. franklin posted on 12/12/2013 02:16 PM
    1. Cut silly transit projects - ie LRTs on Sheppard and Finch. Build an LRT on the old RT line, but only if one is needed. Use Go lines for DRL. So only $20B is needed.

    2. Cut 100 extra staff from 220 hospitals, permanently to fund transit over the province in perpetuity.

    3. Spending $9,000 per student per year on silly construction projects is absurd. Cut this down also.
  11. Galileo posted on 12/12/2013 02:31 PM
    This is a fantastic idea and it's fool-proof. They are going to put the money in trust to make sure every penny goes to transit.

    They'll be setting up a large bureaucracy composed of party hacks to manage this trust. The number of these employees will grow exponentially over time, all with multimillion dollar salaries and generous pensions and benefits. Eventually all of this money will be used for some fraudulent purpose(s). Scandals will abound. The premier of the day will sincerely apologize to the electorate and promise to do better in future... Oh, wait...
  12. dama posted on 12/12/2013 02:38 PM
    How much are these members on this panel being paid per diem?

    I bet a lot per hour and all they can do is come up with this 3 cents onwards per litre on gas? I wonder if they get a company's car that they dont have to worry about pumping and using gas or they are so highly paid that $80 a year is nothing to them.

    Hello !!!!! The gas cost eventually will be passed on to consumers by trucking companies, so drivers are screwed many times over not just the 3 cents..

    How about using OLG money? anyone knows how the OLG spend the money from lottery tickets?, so instead of spending on what it was supposed to spend on,, divert that money to infrastructure for x numbers of years, there you go my free advice.. even though it might not be a popular one . instaed of dinging all drivers ONLY ...

    The car manufacturers, GM, Ford and others should revolt as well..
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/12/2013 04:55 PM
      @dama You see, you have some good ideas- and I bet you're not even on the panel or involved in the industry.
      We're paying good money from a panel, that states the obvious option that nobody wants. And people who come on here and comment for free, can illuminate with far better answers.
      Oh, the madness makes my head hurt.
  13. Maureen posted on 12/12/2013 04:53 PM
    Absolutely no, no, no to gas tax to pay for transit. How is that fair? I don't use transit, I can't. I'm also a senior citizen with a fixed income so why should everyone pay for this. All governments over decades have passed the buck when they should have been continually building subways. Tax the highways with tolls AND increase Toronto taxes to pay for a service Torontonians use every day. Increased gas taxes may never be used for what they intend, but I will not be able to afford to keep driving and therefore remain independent.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/12/2013 05:01 PM
      @Maureen I understand what you mean, but "I shouldn't have to pay because I don't use transit', isn't a sufficient enough answer.
      The issue is we already pay enough- and that goes especially for the drivers.
      When we buy a car, we pay taxes.
      When we get our cars serviced, we pay taxes.
      When we get license to drive, we have to pay for that and the schooling
      We have to pay for permits.
      I'm not even going to mention the gas/fuel/diesel
      We pay through the nose for insurance, who in turn pay for gas
      We pay taxes for snow removal, road maintenance, construction and everything else.
      We pay for license plates
      I'm sure there's more that I'm missing, but you get the point.

      We're dumping all this money in their lap, and yet they want more?!?!?! We shouldn't have to pay another dime- especially when we see them blowing money through the tail-pipe. And having the absolute gall to tell us, that any increases when it comes to money, only amount to a cup of coffee.

      They're taking money from us with one hand, and giving us the finger with the other.
  14. Cliff posted on 12/12/2013 05:38 PM
    I don't live anywhere near the GTA, why should I have to pay for your transit system. In 50 years I think I could count all the times I've used the TTC on the fingers of one hand.
    10 cents a liter is going to add $5 to $10 a week. I don't even have access to public transit. Even more incentive to get my gas in US where I'm already saving about $20 a fill up.
  15. franklin posted on 12/12/2013 06:12 PM
    Not a single reporter asked why the province doesn't get the money from efficiencies! Is there no media that thinks of the public purse, especially amid this week's revelations of obscene waste?

    Anne Golden is not going to offend the province, but surely We the People must offend this spendthrift rascal gov. and demand that efficienies be found. For example, cutting 100 staff at each of Ont.ario's 220+ hospitals, which have up to 10 (10!!!!!!!) employees per bed would cover transit expansion forever, province-wide.
  16. Frankie posted on 12/12/2013 09:35 PM
    IMO asking Anne Golden to prepare a report is like asking the NDP or Liberals to find ways to tax us more. Nowhere do we see anything about saving tax dollars by increasing efficiencies.

    A former OPG employee says he was regularly criticized because he wanted to work efficiently rather than at 25% performance, which would have made the others look bad. Same applies at TTC maintenance dept. where someone I know was physically threatened for the same thing.

    Imagine if we got rid of this rot how many billions would suddenly be available for transit and other projects.

    Will we ever elect a government that truly seeks to reduce this waste rather than keep increasing taxes so that most of it can be wasted?
  17. Mike from the hinterland posted on 12/13/2013 05:56 AM
    When you think of the way these Ontario Liberals blow money and how they manage projects, are you going to be crazy enough to support this? Gee let see, I roughly calculate that 4-5 billion dollars have been wasted through this nonsense of the Ontario Liberal party.

    E – Health - billion dollar wasted.
    Baird Report - billion dollar waste
    Wind Power
    G20 summit
    5 cents a bag
    Lawn fertilizer
    Health Care
    Septic Inspection program
    Eco fees
    Cell phone ban
    Stakeholders crap
    Power Plant
    Orange - billion dollars wasted.
    Tim Horton’s
    OPG - billions dollar wasted
    Ontario North-land billion dollar wasted

    This party and its instruments have lost the trust of the people. I believe that they should cut first and then come back and tax if required. I believe that public transit is needed and traffic is congested. It is time to build the infrastructure. During the 2009 stimulus package, there was infrastructure money available, yet the dolts at city hall and the province did not take advantage of this. This Liberal government cannot be trusted with a large project such as this. 4-5 billion dollars not only buys a lot of TIm Hortons coffee but could have been invested in infrastructure and transit.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/13/2013 10:32 AM
      @Mike from the hinterland From you list, that's at least $5 Billion- and that's only from the major faux-pas. Imagine if those alone went towards their Big Move project.
      Oh wait, we wouldn't have to imagine. We just wouldn't be staring down the barrel of a 5-10% tax hike on gas...and consequently price increases on EVERYTHING as a result.
  18. FastFrankie posted on 12/13/2013 10:49 AM
    Sorry crooks, I gave at the office. How can we trust the uber-corrupt Ontario gov't to use any new taxes for their intended purpose, even if we agree with the intended purpose? Why would anyone agree to give the Ontario Liberals a new pile of money, given that they proved time and time again that they couldn't be trusted with previous piles of money?
  19. Nicholas Wind posted on 12/13/2013 03:30 PM
    And we have folks agreeing with this.
    Amazing and incredible "retardation in full bloom" and why we may end up with these liars and stealers of our hard earned money back in power legally.
    100,000 new civil servants in the last 10 years.
    Gee I can't think of where we might make some big cuts ehh?
  20. William posted on 12/14/2013 09:55 AM
    So Toronto wants to reduce or eliminate their land transfer tax. They already pay property tax at a lower rate than Rural Ontario. They've neglected their infrastructure and transit for years and now they want the rest of Ontario to pay for it. And the Ontario Liberals who waste our tax money as if there is no end wants to increase taxes on our gas, to pay for it. How about we build a bridge over Toronto to bypass it and Toronto can charge tolls for anyone entering and pay for their transit that way. Man I'm sick of the liberals and sick of Toronto.
  21. Ronald Wilson posted on 12/14/2013 12:32 PM
    Just more justification for retaining defunct railroad lines for possible future use. Such land should revert to the public domain. More gas tax! I am a senior living on a small pension in a rural area. Life is hard enough without an added gasoline tax. I worked with the TTC Subway Construction Branch in the early 1960s when costs were $1,500.00 per foot for cut and cover and $5,000.00 per foot for tunneling. My how costs have risen. No, I do not trust the Liberal government of Ontario with my tax dollars. Let the GTA be taxed for their transport services. Extra taxes will have no benefits for me. Infrastructure my ass. All I see are delays in highway widening in the Ottawa Valley and closure of rail lines with the rails removed the next day! No, I see no promise of improvements in my lifestyle with increased gas taxes.
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