Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Are provincial governments with their political party politics really necessary?








Perhaps another idea rather than the entry of the divisiveness of partisan party politics at the municipal level would be to move in another direction completely.

And consider eliminating provincial governments and have the federal government take over education, healthcare, and other public welfare benefits and goods that citizens consider to be entitlements from birth to grave.

With the administrative duties transferred to the municipal levels of government which would further reduce repetative representative and political overlap and the never ending divisiveness of party politics. 

Provincial taxes could be eliminated and replaced with slightly increased federal tax rates with the added efficiency of removing the provincial level of government and if handled correctly would translate into an overall savings for taxpayers.

Provinces already exist financially because of our current system of transfer payments from the federal government paying for the greatest portion of education, healthcare, debt payments, and other entitlement programs, as our federal government largely gets to set the mandate under which they are delivered anyway, no matter what provincial leaders advocate, on the behalf of their citizens, ultimately the national interest usually gets the final say.

Political food for thought!


2. @  http://www.torontosun.com/2014/04/11/all-levels-of-canadian-government-debt-total-41-trillion









Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Art of Double Dipping by Career Politicians





It has become apparent that recent retiring 30 year federal and provincial elected representative of specific political party’s i.e. liberal, conservative or NDP have come up with their own definition of new revenue sources for personal use.

The greed for power or supplementing their overly generous government pensions after representing a political party’s loyal members at either the federal or provincial government levels is becoming the new form of political double dipping in Ontario and Canadian politics.

I am referring to the recent retirement or quitting from federal politics by one Jim Karygiannis after having represented the liberal political party and its local constituent supporters at the federal level for more than 30 years of continued elected service.

This career politician and parliamentarian recently thanked all his fellow members of the liberal federal political party and now starts to collect his annual pension and benefits which he earned from representing his party’s taxpaying supporters.

Problem is this political party member now wants to represent these same political party constituent supporters at the municipal government level on City Council, which unlike federal and provincial levels of governments, currently does not have the open system of party politics for campaign funding, advertising and worker support.

For decades Canadian citizens at the Toronto and municipal government election levels have and overwhelmingly continue to prefer that their local councillors be independent and represent their constituents rather than representing party politics at the municipal levels of government.

As there is already an abundance of party politics at the provincial or federal level. Further it is grossly unfair and unethical for retired MPP or MP of 30 years to then seek political office at the municipal levels and be backed financially or otherwise by their political party affiliations while receiving a taxpayer funded pension for having served these same party supporters at the federal or provincial levels of government.

Such political party condoned or supported pork barrelling and double dipping by this or other elected parliamentarians upon retiring is unethical and shows no respect for voters within our One City Community of Toronto.

Toronto City council, in my perhaps biased opinion, does not at this time or any time in the near future require the introduction of political party politics and the divisiveness it encourages within communities, cities and municipalities.

It is time the leaders of the Liberal, Conservative and NDP political parties all immediately establish a no double dipping rule. 

This rule would clearly prohibits all previously elected and retiring political party parliamentarians that have served their party and constituents supporters for 30 years or longer from seeking another position of elected office at the municipal government level for up to ten years from the date of retirement from either their federal or provincial elected government service.

What is needed to stop such double dipping is a Five-Year Post-Employment Ban for Designated Public Office Holders & retiring or quitting MPs or MPPs.

The five year period would start from the time the member (MP or MPP) ceases to carry out his or her functions with the political party he/she was elected to represent or the time the member resigned or quit as an MP or MPP. Those who contravene this provision would be committing an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $150,000.

The prohibition would apply equally to all elected members of the federal parliament and or a provincial legislature.   

More food for thought: 
Are provincial governments with their political party politics really necessary?


Perhaps another idea rather than the entry of the divisiveness of party politics at the municipal level would be to move in another direction.

And consider eliminating the provincial governments and have the federal government take over education, healthcare, and other public welfare benefits and goods that citizens consider to be entitlements from birth to grave.

With administrative duties being transferred to municipal levels of government which would further reduce representative and political overlap. 

Provincial taxes could be eliminated replaced with slightly increased federal tax rates with the added efficiency of removing a level of government if handled correctly would translate into an overall savings for taxpayers.

Provinces already exist financially because of our current system of transfer payments from the federal government paying for the greatest portion of education, healthcare, debt payments, and other entitlement programs, as our federal government largely gets to set the mandate under which they are delivered anyway, no matter what provincial leaders advocate, on the behalf of their citizens, ultimately the national interest usually gets the final say.






 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Value of services versus the need for new taxes.






It seems that most editorials from the for profit main stream media organizations are continually left leaning and slanted in favour of new revenue sources (new taxes) and increased taxes on individuals in their never ending support for services that are vote getting valued and put forward by political parties of all stripes.  

As they never seem to support favouring or editorialize a need for any increases or new taxes on corporations or special interest group’s even though corporate tax rates at both the provincial and federal levels remain at an all-time low rate.

First we citizens must recognize and remember the fact that political parties of all stripes i.e. liberals, conservatives, new democrats, greens etc. all have less than ONE per cent of eligible voters who are actual card carrying or dues paying members of their specific political party.

Further the main stream media would like us all to believe that a healthy middle class income is that of $60,000 to $100,000 per year.

Yet our municipal, provincial and federal politicians all take home a base annual salary and benefits in excess $130,000 of which 1/3 is tax free while 47% of Toronto residential property tax paying citizens have an annual household income of under $53,000 and the medium income for a one person household is under $46,000 in Toronto alone.  

Other than the media, political parties and the political corporate elite through editorials, who has agreed that the current tax payer funded non entitlement services that governments continually give voters are the services realistically wanted by a majority of citizens or by those having that middle class annual income of $60,000 to $100,000 per year or of our citizens that currently have a medium one person household income of under $46,000.

In place of the so called solution of increasing taxes on individuals as presented by the Stars editorial a more democratic course might be one of making sure that the majority of voting citizens have the government services that they as a majority of citizens actually want. And then, without ever having been asked, have to fund unsustainable programs for services put forth by the various political parties whom represent at best a mere One Percent of all eligible citizen voters.    

Sources:



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Star's Editorial Insults All Canadian Heterosexuals.








This editorial “outing” of the Star's HETEROPHOBIC attitude itself is an insult to all Canadians in my humble opinion.

To insinuate that individuals who do not support the life styles of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex ,Queer/Questioning and 2 Spirited are utterly unfit for public office is asinine and contrary to the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is also a reverse form of bullying and method of discrimination.

I hold the strong position and belief that individual’s within our Canadian society must be allowed to decide for themselves what is best for them as an individual and not be chastised by the media or special interest groups for holding an opposite viewpoint from those of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals, Transsexual, Transgender or Queer/Questioning.

Let’s ALL respect the simple fact that All people as individuals have lives, relationships and families have the constitutional right and freedoms to reject or accept social trends and have that basic human right and freedom to make their own choices?  


Sources:


http://www.worldpridetoronto.com/about/mission




Monday, February 3, 2014

Mayor Ford used as a Distraction from Toronto/Provincial Business Tax Scandal?


The Mayors personal life and problems have provided news print and main stream media outlets with endless muckraking articles attacking not only himself but also his, wife, children and brother to the extent of gross overkill on an individual’s personal life and  political policies.

The political reality of this saga could well be a distraction used by Toronto’s elite,  politicized main stream media outlets, political foes and party politics as an ongoing  cover-up to Ontario’s and the City’s decade of business tax scandal?

If you think I am nuts, well the facts point us in a disturbing and different direction than my sanity or lack thereof!

You see the City, thanks to the government at Queens Park for the past decade, has been decreasing business property taxes at the direct expense of residential property taxes as their own information below clearly indicates for all to see.  

Since 2005 to 2014 the province of Ontario has lowered general business rates from 14% to 11% and small business tax rate from 5.5% to 4.5%.

During this same time period the City of Toronto increased its residential property taxes by 30.66% while increasing business property taxes by only 10.307%! 

Inflation for this period was 17.3%.  

Get the picture yet?

As our federal government is no better and is also in on this tax gate scandal at the direct expense of individual taxpayers. As they lowered general and investment business tax rates in 2005 from 22.12% to 15.0% for 2014 and their small business rate from 13.12% to 11.0%  

All this going on while the media and some self anointed elite Torontonians are obsessed with the Mayor’s personal problems when his political administration at the same time has prudently managed to keep Toronto’s operating budget balanced as mandated by provincial legislation. 

Ford’s four year term has held residential property tax increase to 7.2% from 2011 to 2014. The inflation rate for this period is 6.5%. (1.2% projected for 2014)  

Compared to the 14.45% tax increases for residential property by the previous Mayoralty administration's last four years from 2010 to 2007! 

Mayor Ford's administration has averaged residential property tax increase over his four year term to 1.8% compared to the previous administrations' last four year increase average of 3.61%.      


An historic achievement for the taxpayers of Toronto by this politically prudent and transparent Mayor Ford and his administration regardless of his unfortunate personal problems.

Have we become anarchists and forgotten that all of us are created equal and all are equally imperfect and there remain unequal laws and taxes created by unjust people?

The Toronto media has failed to mention in detail these facts that support the need for residential property tax reform at the expense of business in my humble opinion considering that youth unemployment in 2003 stood at 16.4%. 

And today after all these the business tax reductions the unemployment rate for our Toronto youth has jumped to 19.8 %( unadjusted for seasonality)

The main stream media corporations, political parties, career politicians, the elite's civic action groups, lobbyists and Toronto's union leaders ALL continually support for NEW TAXES on Individuals and NOT on business, corporations, banks or unions their buddies and financial supporters!  

Wake up Toronto as to just what the status quo has given you. Change is good!


In 2014 the City approve a $9.6 Billion Operating Budget representing a residential property tax increase of 2.71 per cent and a non-residential a 0.75 per cent tax increase for businesses

In 2013 the City also maximized revenue sources, reduced the impact of capital financing, and implemented a moderate municipal property tax increase (2.00% residential and a 0.67% non-residential) and a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) fare increase of 5 cents, which are in line with inflation. City Council approved a gross Operating Budget of $10.858 billion .2013 Budget

On January 17, 2012, City Council approved a balanced tax-supported 2012 Operating Budget of $9.4 billion and a 2012-2021 Capital Budget and Plan of $14.8 billion. The 2012 Operating Budget includes a 2.5 per cent property tax increase for residents, a 0.83 per cent tax increase for businesses and a 10-cent fare increase for TTC customers. 2012 Budget

For 2011, Toronto City Council approved an Operating Budget that is balanced, includes no major service cuts, and does not include increases to property tax rates
2011 Budget

On April 15, 2010, Toronto City Council approved a 2010 Operating Budget of $9.2 billion that includes a 2.9% property tax increase for residents and a 0.967% property tax increase for businesses. 2010 Budget Summary

On March 31, 2009, Toronto City Council approved an $8.7 billion Operating Budget. The 2009 Capital Budget is part of the $25.9 billion 10-year capital plan, previously approved in 

December 2008. In 2009, City Council also approved a property tax increase of four per cent for residential properties and 1.33 per cent property tax levy increase for multi-residential and commercial properties. 2009 Budget Summary

On March 31, 2008, Toronto City Council approved an $8.2 billion Operating Budget. The 2008 Capital Budget of $1.610 billion was previously approved on December 10, 2007 as part of an $8.355 billion five-year capital plan (2008-2012). In 2008, City Council also approved a property tax increase of 3.75 per cent for single-family residential properties and 1.5 per cent increase for multi-residential and commercial properties. 2008 Budget Summary

On April 23, 2007, Toronto City Council approved a $7.8 billion Operating Budget and a $1.432 billion tax-supported Capital Budget. In 2007, City Council also approved a property tax increase of 3.8% for residential properties and 1.26% for non-residential properties. City budget 2007 Homepage

City Council in 2006 approved a $7.6 billion operating and $1.25 billion tax supported capital budget for a 3.0% residential property tax increase and a 1.0% non-residential tax increase was also approved. City budget 2006 Homepage

On March 1st, 2005, Toronto City Council approved a $7.1 billion Operating Budget and $1.0 billion Capital Budget. In 2005, City Council also approved a 3% property tax increase for residential properties and a 1.5% increase for non-residential properties. City budget 2005 Homepage

City Council in 2004 approved a $6.6 billion operating and $908 million tax supported capital budget that contains a 3% tax increase for residential and a 1.5% increase for non-residential properties. City budget 2004 Homepage

City Council in 2003 approved a $6.4 billion operating budget and a net tax levy of $2.85 billion. The result was a property tax increase of 3% for residential homeowners and no increase for non-residential properties. Council also approved a $965 million capital budget that for the most part maintains the City's assets in a state of good repair. City budget 2003 Homepage

City Council approved the 2002 City budget which included a $6.2 billion operating budget and $954 million capital budget for a total of about $7.2 billion. The operating budget represents a 1.6 per cent increase over the 2001 operating budget. Toronto homeowners had a 4.3% property tax increase, or $79 per household on an average home valued at $261,000 while no increase was made to non-residential properties. City budget 2002 Homepage

City Council in 2001 approved a $6.1 billion tax-supported operating budget and a $1.120 billion tax-supported capital budget for the year 2001 with another $1.034 billion committed as project cash flow over four years for a total capital budget of $2.154 billion. The operating budget required a tax increase of 5% on homeowners and no increase for non-residential properties. City budget 2001 Homepage

City Council in 2000 approved a $5.9 billion operating budget that ensured a third consecutive year of a property tax freeze. The budget met all existing financial requirements to operate City services and enhanced several programs. City budget 2000 Homepage

The 1999 operating budget of $5.5 billion  The Capital Budget Program gave priority to investing in City facilities and infrastructure. City budget 1999 Homepage

City Council approved a 1998 operating budget of $5.6 billion and a capital budget of $1 billion for the newly amalgamated city. By holding operating expenditures at $5.6 billion, City Council froze 1998 property tax rates at 1997 levels - delivering a "zero tax increase" and maintaining city services and programs at existing levels. City budget 1998 Homepage




UPDATE March 2014.

Because the Star and Royson James make statements and claims to contradict both Pennachetti and Rossinni along with the Mayor does not make them factual or true. You be the judge!








Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mayor Ford’s Political Administration of Fiscal Prudence and Transparency





Despite his personal problems along with constantly being held under a microscope by the media and his political challengers at City Hall and on council his administrations fiscal prudence for his four year term as Mayor has kept Toronto's operating budget increases $400 MILLION over four years and held tax increase for residents to 7.2% from 2011 to 2014! 

A historic achievement on behalf of Toronto property taxpayers!

Especially when compared to the 14.45% tax increases for residential property by the previous Mayoralty administration's last fours 2010 to 2007!

Mayor Ford's administration's averaged property tax increase over four years comes in at 1.8% compared to the previous administration' four year average of 3.61% and 26.45% full term. 

Inflation for the Miller administration's full term was 12.7% and the inflation for the current administration's four year term is 6.5%. (1.2% projected for 2014)

It should be obvious to Toronto taxpayers that the Mayor's personal problems, as uncomfortable as they are, have had NO effect on his political agenda of keeping tax increases low and in line with inflation. 

A promise his Mayoralty predecessor made to Toronto residents yet failed to delivery and did not keep. 

With Mayor Ford's administration the taxpayers of Toronto are getting the best financial tax deal they have had since amalgamation and it can still be greatly improved for our community of one Toronto if his colleagues on council would stop their parochialism's, political filibustering and backstabbing because with the exception of the Mayor, Councillors do not accept the fact that they represent Toronto as one city community!

Metro council over a century and a half (16 years) after amalgamation continues to be a completely dysfunctional council with 44 members plus a Mayor (two per ward, compared to one MP and one MPP for the same Toronto geographic area). Twice as many career politicians as it should or is required!

Mayor Ford was elected directly by 383,501 voters and the previous mayor was elected by 332,969.  

The former Mayor Miller administration’s operating budgets were as follows: 2010 $ 9.2 Billion, 2009 $ 8.7, 2008 $ 8.2, 2007 $7.8, 2006 $ 7.6, 2005 $7.1 and 2004 $ 6.6 Billion.

The current elected Mayor Ford's administration’s operating budgets are as follows:  2011 $ 9.383 Billion, 2012 $ 9.400, 2013 $ 10.858 and 2014 $ 9.600 Billion.

Then on the other hand of the provincial political spectrum at Queens Park under the administration of the provincial liberal party and its leader Kathleen Wynne, elected as party leader by 1,150 liberal delegates. 

Recently introduced her liberal party’s budget for Ontario that had $1.9 BILLION 1 year increase in DEBT and Spending from the current debt of $9.8 Billion to $11.7 Billion in 2014!
With spending increasing by $3.7 BILLION from the current $124 Billion projected to $127.6 in just one year!
In addition to a $24 Billion increase in total DEBT that brings Ontario's total debt to $281 Billion which is $3 Billion above above their last projection! 
Not a prudent  budget rather a classic breach of fiduciary duty and due diligence that continues to set aside any semblance of the obligation by this liberal political party’s government to act honestly, in good faith and in the best interest of citizens, in my humble opinion!
Yet Torontonians are obsessed with the personal problems of Mayor Ford while his administration at the same time has prudently managed to keep Toronto’s operating budget balanced as mandated by legislation and over four years as held residential property tax increase to 7.2% for his entire term of four years and increased the operating budgets by $400 Million over the same four years!
An historic achievement for the taxpayers of Toronto by this politically prudent and transparent Mayor Ford and his administration regardless of his unfortunate personal problems.
Have we become anarchists and forgotten that all of us are created equal and all are equally imperfect as we still have unequal laws and taxes created by unjust people, peter CLARKE 2010!

UPDATE March 2014.

Because the Star and Royson James make statements and claims to contradict both Pennachetti and Rossinni along with the Mayor does not make them factual or true. You be the judge!




Saturday, January 25, 2014

Toronto Residential Property Tax Needs Reforming







During the past decade taxpaying citizens of Ontario have seen the provincial government and Toronto city council commence tax reform for business property tax but NOT for residential property taxes!

In October 2007 Councilors’ as suggested by non-elected technocrats and bureaucrats approved reducing business property tax by the  report  "Update to Enhancing Toronto's Business Climate" status that highlights 12 new initiatives to enhance the city's competitiveness over the long term! 

The honestly and realistic speaking result has simply been to shift the tax burden of about $ 2 BILLION annual dollars from business to our residential property taxpayers across the province and city that has continued to increase the financial pressures on Toronto, other cities and municipalities throughout the GTHA and across the entire province. 

In 2003 Toronto's operating budget was $ 6.400 Billion. Now in 2013 it has jumped to $ 10.858 BILLION an increase of 69.65%  

Since that time after amalgamation Toronto’s career politicians on behalf of residential property taxpayers including our seniors on fixed pensions and lower income earners saw fit to increase residential property taxes by 30.95%. *(not including the 2.71% proposed RPT increase for 2014 & 1.13% corporate property tax increase 0.75 plus .48 ) Councillors for the same period increased business property taxes by a mere 10.557%. Inflation for the same period was 17.9%! *Source 

The Toronto unemployment rate for youth in 2003 stood at 16.4%. Today after the business property tax reductions the unemployment rate for our Toronto youth has jumped to 19.8%(unadjusted for seasonality) which is significantly higher than the 14.2%national figure.

In 2003, $ 58,200 was the median salary in Toronto while a member of council had a salary of $ 65,852 which represented a difference of 13%. Today a Councilor’s salary is $ 104,147 and the median Toronto salary stands at $ 77,400. A difference of 34.5%!

Remember that just over 47% of Toronto residential property taxpayers have an annual average household income of under $ 53,000 and account for approximately 400,000 private households throughout our ONE community of Toronto. And that the average median income for a one person household is under$ 46,000 in Toronto.

Hopefully a majority of Toronto taxpayers come October shall realize that a political life long career of Councilors’ has NOT resulted in a financially prudent bunch of Councilors’ at the public trough they have controlled at the peoples City hall for 10 or 20 years.

Remember that just over 47% of Toronto residential property taxpayers have an annual average household income of under  
$53,000 and account for approximately 400,000 private households throughout our ONE Toronto community.

The Toronto social slogan may be Putting People First but the reality has become business and career Councilors’ come first at council and residential property taxpayers bear the brunt of Toronto’s business property tax reductions and council’s chronic spending habits.

We should be electing Councilors’ who are demanding limitations on residential property assessments and tax limitations on behalf fixed income seniors and low income earners commencing with the 2015 budget process and have the political courage to greatly reduce non-mandated city services. 

And not simply with a deferment of tax increases for seniors on fixed pensions and low wage earners but a cap on such residential property taxes until these properties are sold in the future.

Scandinavian countries have shown the world that it is far less expensive and greatly reduces long term residential health care costs when those on fixed income pensioners and low wage earners can comfortably and affordably remain in their own households.

If the province and city can reform and reduce business property tax then Torontonians surely can elect Councilors’ who have the long term vision that people not business actually come first and outweigh the greed of economics. 

Councilors’ are supposed to represent the people and not simply increase their own earnings capabilities at the direct expense of residential property taxpayers. 

Q Tax shift? What is that?
A. A tax shift is a change in taxes that will eliminate or reduces some taxes while adding or increasing others, keeping the overall revenue stable. Mandated by the province, it seeks to shift the property tax burden away from the commercial and industrial property owners and onto the residential class. The shift is happening gradually and, according to the city website, Toronto is on track to meet its target by 2017. In the meantime, it means any tax increase voted into the 2014 budget by council will include an extra 0.48% to accommodate that shift.  National Post 
City of Toronto Financial Statement
@http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=c8e619b125cd1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
UPDATE March 2014.

Because the Star and Royson James make statements and claims to contradict both Pennachetti and Rossinni along with the Mayor does not make them factual or true. You be the judge!



Article Sources:


http://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/economic_development_and_culture/docs/Sectors_Reports/fiscalbenefits_localgeneration.pdf