Monday, May 27, 2013

The Big Move Tax Grab

One of the first rules of politics is to try to minimize or at least obfuscate unpopular events or decisions.

Today, an agency of the Ontario government - Metrolinx - came out with their bag of "revenue tools" - taxes by any other name, to pay for a massive 25 year plan that will cost $50 Billion (at least).

So this could become one of the largest single tax grabs in Ontario, since Dalton McGuinty said he would not raise taxes, but instead created the Health Premium, a new "tax" in the 2004 budget.

What I find interesting and funny is this, in the week or so before the Metrolinx revenue tools announcement, the two most consistent opponents of these revenue tools - the Ford brothers Rob and Doug - were attacked by two of the largest newspapers in the country, and accused of various drug offences: smoking crack and pushing dope. Not only did those allegations create local headlines with daily ramifications, but Toronto politics became a joke on North American late night TV shows. So, I'll ask, is there a connection? Is this a smoke screen (pun intended) for Metrolinx?    

Metrolinx is supposed to alleviate the gridlock in the Greater Toronto - Hamilton Region. The average commute time in the area is now 82 minutes. When (and if) the plan gets done, that commute time will be 77 minutes - 5 minutes saved! Of course, the CEO of Metrolinx says that if it isn't done, his crystal ball says the average commute will be 109 minutes. Could it possibly be 108 or maybe 100 minutes? How can this guy predict what things will be like in 2038? Maybe we'll get those flying cars I've been waiting for. But with even more taxes piled up onto poor Ontario, who will be able to afford a flying car?

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