tax debate seems in the bag
With Toronto Mayor Rob Ford setting his sights on abolishing the less than two year old five cent plastic bag fee, opponents and proponents are lining up to either help toss it, salvage it or even raise it.
“I have never been in favour of it personally but I need to do my homework on it,” Ford said. “I have asked for a report because we want to make sure we do the right thing on this and see whether people like it or don’t like it.”
“The priority was to eliminate the unfair (car tax), and as the mayor speaks with residents asics everyday, the thorny issue of the bag tax keeps coming up,” Batr asics a stated in an e mail.
“People are sick and tired of being nickel and dimed to death so he would like to address the elimination of the bag tax.”
The wheels already seem to be in motion for a bag tax debate.
Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby told the Sun Thursday she has drafted a motion to kill the tax that will be seconded by Councillor Doug Ford when it comes to council sometime in the new year.
“We’re not getting a cent for this (bylaw), we’re just getting grief,” she said.
Most of her residents feel it should be voluntary, Lindsay Luby said.
“The city should not be in that business. We had no right to be in it,” she said.
Toronto Environmental Alliance executive director Franz Hartmann said Thursday the “fee” benefits the environment and taxpayers so well it should be hiked to 25 cents a bag.
“I would argue we still have a ways to go and perhaps the best thing to do would be to increase the fee,” he said. “I think that based on the success we’ve had to date, raising it to a quarter is probably not a bad idea.”
Public works chairman Denzil Minnan Wong said scrapping the bag tax is a debate for council to have.
“It really is a frustrating tax and it is not even a tax, it is revenue that goes straight into the pocket of the grocers and all the other businesses,” he said.
“But that has to be balanced off against the fact that the number of bags people are using has gone down significantly.”
Councillor Paula Fletcher said axing the tax was not a “foregone conclusion.”
“It will be a very aggressive debate because we have to see the n asics umber of bags that have been reduced in the asics City of Toronto,” she said. “I think the public is very much in favour of reducing our garbage and reducing what we are sending to landfill.”