This week, York Region receives more bad news. A survey reveals that nine out of 10 York Region residents are opposed to York Regional council’s potential plan of bringing in a vehicle registration tax. The Canadian Automobile Association and the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, which represents more than 1,100 new car dealers in Ontario releases the survey and states that the prospect of a municipal vehicle registration tax is unpopular with motorists across the region.
With the region’s debt hitting a peak of $2.9 billion in 2017, York Region demands power to bring in new taxes. Two weeks before the provincial election, York Region councillors renewed their demand that Queen's Park give them new taxing powers. The region complained that it has $220 million dollars a year in infrastructure needs that it cant afford to pay for as long as it sticks to its current cap of three per cent in annual property taxes. They want taxing powers similar to the City of Toronto. For that earlier report, please click http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/664941
York Regional Council pointed out that municipalities already have the power to implement hotel and vacant unit taxes and toll roads. If approved with their new taxing powers, York Region can add a number of new fees permitted in Toronto on taxpayers including municipal land transfer, vehicle registration tax, alcohol, entertainment and amusement, parking and tobacco taxes. All of these moves would indicate that York Region is in dire need of more funding through taxes and is starting to struggle with financial management. It is also carrying too large a bureaucracy and performing in an inefficient manner.
在2014年的市政选举中，万锦市的市议员候选人Partap Dua建议废除约克区政府。他指出，万锦市应该退出约克行政区，因为区政府效率低，万锦市民所交的税没有给万锦带来应得的好处。 2017年，万锦市所收的地产税超过50％用于约克区的公共服务。2014年，人们对Partap Dua建议不屑一顾。现在回过头来看，他的建议很有现实意义。
In the 2014 municipal election, one of the Markham Mayoral candidate Partap Dua suggested that York Region should be abolished. He was basically saying that Markham should withdraw from York Region since it was inefficient and Markham is not getting its tax money's worth from it. Over 50% of our property taxes in 2017 went to York region for their services. No one paid attention to Mr. Dua's suggestion at the time. Looking back at this, it makes a lot of sense now.
In the last four years, York Region managed to spend our tax dollars in a very casual manner. It proceeded with the construction of a $212 million building connecting next to the existing headquarter in Newmarket. Staff conceded that the new building is not a consolidation solution and that it is an investment in the future. Meantime, buildings are still being leased in other parts of the region.
The overrun of the Vaughan subway extension took another $250 million out of the region's coffers. In November 2017, it was revealed that York Region is $1.5 billion short to fund its forecasted 10-year roads construction budget. At the end of 2017, York region has a debt of $2.9 billion – over $2500 for each one of its residents.
Just after the Provincial election, Premier Ford reverted the election of the York Region and Peel Regional Chairs to “appointment” by their own Council members. Many looked at it as a vendetta against the disposed leader Patrick Brown but I look at this differently. The current election process will elect the two Regional Chairs without public mandate. It would then be much easier for the Premier to restructure those regions into lean and proficient governments.
For York region, this model can mean the departure of Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan. These three cities are well equipped to handle their own services with their duplicated staff and departments. Overall planning can then be negotiated between the three big cities and a smaller York Region on behalf of the other remaining northern municipalities based on geographic boundaries under their controls.
Of course, this also involves the division of the debt to be carried by the departing municipalities. What role the provincial government will play in this debt sharing is unknown. The breaking up of the York Region is inevitable and the writing is on the wall. This is another reason why Mayor Scarpitti will probably not seek the York Region Chair in November, contrary to the rumours.
This shrinking of the York region is not just my own observations. Many have seen it coming down the tracks but refused to believe in it. Premier Ford is the engineer driving this train and the under-achievers and non-believers will be rolled over when this “train” hits them within 2 years.
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