Toronto deeper in the doo

Posted on July 10th, 2013 Won't you help brighten a lonely comment's day?

The trusty Star reports today that Toronto has sunk deeper into debt under Ford:

Over the past two years, the city borrowed $1.5 billion to pay for capital costs — including transit equipment ordered by Ford’s predecessor — and repaid $700 million, thus increasing the debt burden by $800 million.

This doesn’t come as a shock, but it’s important to point out that the brunt of the burden comes from a couple of administrations ago, so it’s entirely fair to say that Ford inherited the problem.

But then he made it worse:

Ford has championed cutting the cost of government, scrapping the $60 vehicle tax shortly after taking office, and holding down increases in property taxes which are traditionally put toward capital costs, along with borrowed funds.

In 2011, on Ford’s insistence, the city froze property taxes. The next year he limited the increase to 2.5 per cent, in line with inflation.

About half of the borrowing was to pay for transit infrastructure, such as replacing worn-out vehicles. Other big-ticket infrastructure spending went to areas such as roads, parks and housing.

It’s also important to note that borrowed money costs more in the long run than a one-time tax hike. Borrowed money is simply deferred taxation and comes with the additional burden of interest and who-knows-what penalties. In other words, it means higher taxes down the road (unless Ford’s magical public-private partnership ever appears).
None of this is news to people who follow Ford’s meanderings through politics, but it doesn’t doesn’t take into account examples of other money that Robbie and his brother have squandered since they took office. When all is said and done, the damage will be palpable.

One Comment on “ Toronto deeper in the doo ”

  • SarahD
    July 10th, 2013 12:37 pm

    Looking forward to having transit fares of $5 one way!
    But the taxpayers should not be burdened with the tax…

    Toronto has nothing to offer me.

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