Tory Vows to Build His Transit Plan without More Taxes

This article was last updated on May 26, 2022

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Toronto mayoral candidate, John Tory, has once again reiterated in a radio interview on Wednesday that he can “guarantee” there will be no increase in property taxes for financing his SmartTrack line. In fact, Mr. Tory went ahead to say that “there will be hell to pay” if the upper levels of government don’t pitch in two thirds of his $8-billion scheme.

Mr. Tory promised to complete his plan within seven years without an increase in property taxes. Instead, Mr. Tory vowed to depend on something called “tax increment financing” that “captures” the value of future tax revenue that is expected to rise because of additional development along a transit corridor. Mr. Tory insisted that “property taxpayers are not going to face any increases as a result of this,” adding that “I guarantee property taxpayers will not have to pay an incremental amount because of SmartTrack.”

In addition to that, Mr. Tory stressed that he can surely convince the provincial government and the Conservative federal government to fund his plans. He stated that “we could sit here and have what if discussions on a negative basis.” He stated that “what I’m telling you is, I have the determination to go to those governments, I have the relationships with both of those governments to go and get that money. And how they’re going to turn down — I’ll tell you, they’ll be hell to pay for those governments if I’m the mayor of Toronto and they start saying they’re not [paying].”

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