Growing York Region wants to raise more revenue

As York Region prepares for continued growth, it’s seeking additional revenue-raising powers, such as a municipal land transfer tax and vehicle registration tax, to help fund new infrastructure and maintain current infrastructure.

“York Region is a growing municipality with one of the largest capital budgets in the Greater Toronto Area,” York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson said in a statement issued on May 22.

The Region’s current population of 1.2 million is forecasted to grow to 1.8 million over the next 25 years. It’s home to 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees – a number expected to reach 900,000 in that same time period. “As we continue to welcome new residents and businesses to our communities, we must ensure infrastructure is in place to accommodate current and future needs,” Emmerson said.

“New revenue sources are essential to addressing costs associated with building new, and maintaining current, infrastructure.” The Region has more than $220 million per year in infrastructure needs that can’t be addressed by the current limit of a three per cent property tax increase. It has similar revenue-raising powers as a smaller municipality and is advocating for revenue-raising powers such as those included in the City of Toronto Act, 2006.

“Regional Council has achieved success in meeting three key objectives: keeping annual tax levy increase below three per cent, reducing reliance on debt and saving for asset management needs,” said Town of Richmond Hill Mayor David Barrow, Chair of Finance and Administration. “Should the Province of Ontario grant City of Toronto Act, 2006 powers to York Region, we will be in an even stronger financial position to address the needs of our communities.”

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