After months of speculation about how the province will pay for GTA transit expansion, Kathleen Wynne is expected to announce her choices for transit funding tools at a speech at the Board of Trade on Monday.
The premier has already taken a few options off the table – a property tax hike, HST increase, a gas tax and an income tax increase for middle income earners. It’s been speculated that she will increase income taxes for high income earners and corporate taxes.
Last month, when Wynne revealed what she wouldn’t do, she wouldn’t comment on who would bear most of the burden for new LRTs, subway expansion and buses. Wynne had said the entire plan would be outlined in the spring budget.
In last year's budget, the minority Liberal government announced a plan to put in place High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes to pay for transit. They would act like HOV lanes but you would have to pay for access.
In the fall, the Finance Minister revealed a plan to sell Green Bonds to pay, in part for transit expansion.
The 25-year Big Move plan by Metrolinx will cost $50 billion.
The premier has yet to expand on what income range she considers middle-income, stating repeatedly last month that the "plan to help middle-income Ontarians will be fully laid out in the upcoming Budget." There are four tax brackets in Ontario.
With the NDP long stressing middle-income earners need to be looked after, the premier has denied this decision was to appease the party which has been allowing the government to survive.