Taxpayers would pay more for better transit: Poll
Published Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:56PM EDT
Taxpayers in the Greater Toronto Area may be willing to fork over a little extra cash if it means they will have access to an improved transit network, a new poll suggests.
The poll, conducted by Environics for urban planning magazine Spacing, found that 74 per cent of respondents would be willing to pay an extra half percentage point in sales tax, so long as the money goes towards improving public transit.
Support for the idea was unanimous in all corners of the GTA, with Halton Region providing the lowest level of support at 67 per cent.
"What's interesting about this poll is that it is not just Toronto residents, but residents across the region," TTC Chair Karen Stintz told CP24. "We have to keep our options open, but when you look at fairness and having everybody contribute I think a sales tax is a good way to collect money."
The online poll, which surveyed 1,436 people, comes one month after a divisive debate at city hall over how to spend 8.4-billion in public transit funding from the province.
During that debate several councillors floated the idea of road tolls as a way to afford Rob Ford's more expensive subway-centric vision.
Council eventually voted in favour of a more affordable plan that centres on light rail transit, but the idea has lingered at water coolers across the city.
"Nobody wants to pay more tax, but in the range of taxes being proposed such as road tolls or car taxes a sales tax is seen to be the fairest tax," Stintz said.
In 2008 Los Angeles County voters endorsed a half-cent tax boost, which will expire in 2039.