Use revenue from parking reform rather than tax property

The Stintz - De Baeremaeker “OneCity” plan for Toronto Transit got a B+ from former Toronto chief planner Paul Bedford and urban designer and author Ken Greenberg. On a story by the Star’s Tess Kalinowski on 2012 07 06, “Bedford thinks OneCity is still too reliant on senior governments to provide two-thirds of the projected $30 billion cost."

“Much of the controversy … is based on its funding proposition—raising property taxes 2 per cent and applying the money to a dedicated transit fund.”

Ken Greenberg’s understatement: “The politics that could thwart the latest and among the boldest transit visions to come before the city in years, are inevitable,” is correct. And this is unfortunately to be expected in the merry-go-round transportation conversation we have going for the GTHA.

According to a Globe article on 2012 06 28, “For the average Toronto homeowner, OneCity would add $180 to the annual tax bill by the time the plan is fully phased in in 2016. All the money would go to transit.”

That’s 50 cents per homeowner per day.

Proper parking reform—and I am not referring to the cost-of-living increase on the GreenP machines that is expected soon—could easily cover half of that, while reducing urban congestion at the same time. Increasing property tax increases land rents, and that tends to discourage people from moving closer to the center as some urbanists think they should do. Anything that moves or keeps people farther from the center increases the use of automobiles.

“Why should my parking money fund transit?” demands my neighbor. One could think of increased transit use as a way to increase existing roadway capacity, since congestion reduces performance.

Whether we use parking revenues or fuel-tax revenues to fund roads or transit, either is better than being heavily reliant on property taxes.

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