Letter to Toronto Mayor David Miller

June 22, 2007

Mayor David Miller
Mayor’s Office
2nd Floor, Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

RE: New Taxation Measures, City of Toronto Act 2006
Personal Vehicle Ownership Tax

Your Worship Mayor Miller,

We urge Toronto City Council to reconsider automobile tax policy in the City of Toronto, specifically the proposed Personal Vehicle Ownership Tax. Fixed fees on automobiles (unless sufficiently high to deter vehicle purchase by low-income drivers) do nothing to reduce car use or provide incentives to drivers to switch to other modes of transportation.

We are encouraged by the City’s Climate Change Action Plan. We are also encouraged by the City’s Green Sector Economic Development and hope to benefit from your support of local business. However, real climate change action requires consistent support in all tax policy – especially in transportation.

Once a motorist pays a fixed tax, she is encouraged to drive as much as possible to recover the full value of her investment. Put another way, if I have already paid money to own and drive a car and if that payment has no relation to the amount I use my car and if any reduction I produce will not result in direct savings to me, then why I would pay another $2.75 to ride a transit system?

Only when motorists pay more per trip for driving will they be incented to pay for transit. The fairest type of per-trip charge is a distance-based charge modulated for congestion management. There is a made-in-Toronto technology to deliver this.

We’d be pleased to meet with you to further discuss Toronto’s automobile tax policy, and how to incent transit use with progressive taxation rather than the reverse. We know you believe that Climate Change is the defining challenge facing your generation. Here is an opportunity to explore an immediate and powerful solution.


Kamal Hassan
CEO, Skymeter Corporation

CC: Councillor Shelley Carroll, Toronto City Hall
Patsy Morris, Committee Administrator, Toronto City Hall

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