City of Toronto pondering a 'rain tax'

Toronto residents face a potential tax hike as Mayor Olivia Chow is contemplating a surcharge on precipitation. The wastewater usage tax would fluctuate based on the size of the residential property.

City of Toronto pondering a 'rain tax'
The Canadian Press / Arlyn McAdorey
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Toronto residents face a potential tax hike as Mayor Olivia Chow is contemplating a surcharge on precipitation.

Denoted as a wastewater usage tax, the City of Toronto is proposing a tax on the amount of rainwater that hits residential driveways and roofs. 

A Toronto Sun poll asked viewers, “Are Toronto’s politicians out of touch with reality by proposing a rain tax?” Less than one in twenty from more than 7,000 votes cast said ‘No.’

The proposed tax remains in the consultation phase, reported The Counter Signal. Public consultations run until April 30th, including open virtual meetings on April 8th, 11th, and 16th, as well as an online survey.

If approved, the city would charge residents based on their property size to account for the environmental degradation of runoff that worsens during torrential storms. 

The Rain Tax would appear as a separate line on utility bills.

“For properties less than one hectare in size, there would be a tiered, flat rate stormwater charge based on the average hard surface area of all properties in each tier,” reads a statement from city officials.

“Property tiers are determined by property size ranges for different property types — residential, multi-residential and condominium, and industrial commercial and institutional,” it adds.

According to in-house research by Environment and Climate Change Canada, most young people feel visceral anxiety about ‘climate change.’

Nearly one in five (18%) Canadians nationwide reported being “extremely worried” with 31% “very worried,” when asked: “How worried do you currently feel about the issue of climate change?” 

The remaining 51% are either “moderately worried” or “not worried at all,” according to the report Nature Based Climate Solutions And Cleaner Environment.

Blacklock’s Reporter said at least one in five residents in Ontario (21%) are “extremely worried” about ‘climate change.’

Young adults, in a 2020 study by Public Safety Canada, said ‘climate change’ posed a greater threat than drugs, guns, or gang violence.

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