Tag Archives: spend

If I Ever Run For Toronto Mayor, I Want To Run As A NDP!


I watched the Toronto Mayoral debate forum, between Olivia Chow, David Soknacki and John Tory and I had an epiphany.  If I ever decide to run for Toronto Mayor, I want to be just like Olivia Chow.

Are you shocked?

I’m a fiscal conservative who would prefer to find efficiencies, reduce costs, tax less, and find ways to help everyone who needs help but as we have seen here in Toronto over the past 4-years with Rob Ford as Mayor, if you dare even make mention of cutting anything, look out.

When the Mayor commented about fact that there are a lot of libraries close together – some used much more than others – and some rarely used, he was branded a Neanderthal who couldn’t read and this fiasco even resulted in author Margaret Atwood being brought into the fray with jokes that she would be a better mayor.

If you cut, you must hate.  At least that is what the left will tell everyone.  Public service too large?  You hate unions.  Want to find cheaper ways to clean TTC busses? You hate transit.  Want to not pay for things on the backs of the property taxes? You’re rich and entitled.

Who wants all that crap!

I would want to be just like Olivia.  She was great in the debate.

Want better transit?  “Invest”.

Want to build lots of transit lines? “Invest” and “No more studies!”

Want to engage the youth? “Invest”.

Want to fight global warming?  “Invest”.

Olivia has all the answers, and at times, she had a very coy smile because she knew no matter what she said, there are around 28% of the population of Toronto who are going to vote for this modern-day Santa Claus.

You want transit?  You have to pay for it.  All Olivia needs to do is add a 1% how dare you be rich taxto the land transfer tax for every house over $2-million.  That will get me enough money to pay for whatever she wants.

Want more social programs?  Sure!  Once she adds that 1% “levy” (read: tax) on those nasty, horrible rich people (insert booing here) who dared to work hard and earn lots of money, and viola, there is money for social programs.

The debate, er, forum, went along like this through each and every question.  Screw balancing the budget.  Go away, you terrible rich folks.  Whatever you want, Santa Chow is going to get it for you.  Someone will pay for it, but let’s not let the details get in the way.  With that 1% she’ll have enough money to have studies needed to build more transit (her words last night and yes the same studies she criticized John Tory for wanting to undertake instead of just building now!)

It makes no sense.

She makes no sense.

But honestly, when nobody is listening to the message, it’s easy to be generous with your promises and critical of others who don’t want to have to raise taxes in order to fulfill unrealistic promises.  Where is the money going to come from to fulfill ALL her promises if the “rich” do not sell their houses or if they all move outside of the GTA?

My favourite exchange from the forum went something like this (paraphrased of course);

Q1: How would you get Toronto moving?”

A1: “More transit.  Invest in Transit.  Pay for it NOW.  Get started NOW.”

Q2: “Google is trying unmanned transit in San Francisco.  Would Toronto?”

A2: “Absolutely!!  We need transit moving on all the lines.  We’ll invest in that technology.”

Q3: “Unicorns.  I think Toronto needs more unicorns.  If elected Mayor, will you get us more unicorns?”unicorn tower

A3: “I’ll get those too!  I got free dental for seniors.  Subsidized metropasses for students and I love giving away stuff.  I can always raise taxes on the rich. I’m progressive.  Buy now, tax now.  The other candidates want to pay for studies.  I say forget the studies and invest in unicorns.  Why wait 10-years.  Get them here now!”

Toronto may not need unicorns, but if more than one-quarter of the city blindly support Olivia Chow’s platform, maybe after the 1% land transfer tax levy, they should all be next.

Who needs fiscal restraint when you’re spending other people’s money, anyways.

This modern-day Robin Hood has it all figured out.  Steal from the rich to give to the poor.

Psst… Want more trees too?

unicorntower2

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Olivia Chow Running for Toronto Mayor Position. One of the Top… Spenders as a MP.


According to the Federal government, here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/PublicDisclosure/MemberExpenditures.aspx?Id=MER2013FY&Language=E

I’ll break out the stats. Have a look at others. This could be the Mayor to bankrupt Toronto:

Expenditures by Member

Member: Chow, Olivia

Member. Status. Constituency Name. Constituency Size. Number of Electors.

Chow, Olivia. Active. Trinity—Spadina. 26 km². 101,020

Category

Member’s Budgets ($)

Resources Provided by the House ($)

Travel Points

Total ($)

Reg.

Spec.

U.S.A.

1-Employees’ salaries and service contracts
241,328.49 – 241,328.49

2-Travel

Member
2,191.93 46,090.29 39.50 10.00 – 48,282.22

Designated traveller


Dependants


Employees
3,109.33 2,494.24 4.00 – – 5,603.57

Member’s accommodation and per diem expenses
7,240.65 – 7,240.65

Member’s secondary residence expenses
12,000.00 – 12,000.00

3-Hospitality and events
3,870.58 – 3,870.58

4-Advertising
3,296.96 – 3,296.96

5-Printing

Householders
– 28,835.50 28,835.50

Ten percenters
– 19,898.77 19,898.77

Other printing-related expenses
7,536.58 – 7,536.58

6-Offices

Constituency office leases, insurance and utilities
41,962.70 – 41,962.70

Furniture, furnishing and equipment purchases
505.00 3,457.65 3,962.65

Equipment rentals
2,403.41 – 2,403.41

Informatics and telecommunication equipment purchases
2,092.37 1,726.10 3,818.47

Telecommunication services
7,330.26 6,998.71 14,328.97

Repairs and maintenance
498.14 – 498.14

Postage and courier services
4,704.87 – 4,704.87

Materials and supplies
4,622.22 3,708.66 8,330.88

Training
348.04 – 348.04

Total Amount Spent: $458,251.45.
345,041.53 113,209.92 43.50 10.00 – $458,251.45

That is $458,251.45 in one year. One riding.

Take a deep breath and think again… Please.

STATUS:
Active – Member throughout fiscal year; DE – Deceased; NR – Not re-elected; NE – Newly elected; NSR – Not seeking re-election; RS – Resigned; NEB – Newly elected in by-election

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Support the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition: Stop Chow Now!


In case you missed it, I wanted to share with you a startling and shocking bit of news about the size and cost of municipal governments and their workforce. While we are paying more and more taxes, they are getting bigger and bigger and richer and richer. Doesn’t sound right now, does it?

A newly released study put out by Western University professor Timothy Cobban reveals that since 1995’s amalgamation, local government in Ontario has swollen by 39%!

Here are some more sobering facts made available by the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition;

  • In 1995 Ontario had 160,000 municipal employees, today there are 270,000 – an increase of 110,000.
  • Spending on municipal wages and salaries has increased almost fourfold – from less than $200 million in 1981 to $750 million today!
  • Ontario has only 38% of Canada’s population, yet 43% of the country’s municipal workforce.

Clearly, amalgamation, despite all the promises to the contrary has failed to deliver smaller, more efficient government.  Even the mere talk of closing or downsizing locally resulted in attack after attack on Rob Ford for being uneducated and hating libraries, for example.  It can’t be done if no one wants to admit there is duplication and waste, but then again it cannot continue to operate this way in the red…

So what went wrong?

Well for one thing, the merging of collective bargaining units meant compensation was harmonized upwards to the highest salaries and benefits for that position.

In fact, according to a Toronto Taxpayers Coalition analysis, the number of Toronto municipal employees earning $100,000 or more grew by an astounding 30% – from 5481 up to 7123 – in a single year.

Also, the layers of middle management in general administration positions were often duplicated

The bottom line from all this is obvious: local government is too big, too costly and too burdensome.

And brace yourself for some more bad news.

If Olivia Chow and her left wing NDP pals take control of the Toronto government in the next municipal election, things are guaranteed to get worse.

Much worse.

That’s why we need, more than ever, to stand up and promote the idea of smaller government and lower taxes.

We need a strong voice to offset the union bosses, the media and other assorted left wing groups who will be helping to push Chow’s big spending, high tax agenda while taking aim at the Fiscally Conservative candidates.

The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition will be that voice!

Indeed, they are already making a difference in Toronto politics, former Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday recently had this to say about them:

“The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is a great organization, one that we sorely needed here a long time ago. Increases in taxes and an increases in spending by the Toronto council has gone on for so long that it’s a shame a group like this wasn’t in place to try to maybe put a stop to it earlier on.”

But we will to step up it up a notch for the next election and do even more.  You can help make sure the Taxpayers’ Coalition has the resources it will need to be a force in the next municipal election.

How?

Lots of ways. You can host fundraisers for us; you can introduce our group to your friends and business associates; you can volunteer your time, and of course you can contribute to our special municipal election fund.

But whatever you do, you need to help soon. The election is only months away, and the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is already putting together a budget for a special “Stop Chow Now” campaign, to get out the message to voters, to expose and oppose the ruinous policies of Chow and the NDP.

That will be costly. Running an effective media campaign always is.

I’m hoping you will help, because I know you share my belief that Toronto can do better, and that we must do better. I also know that you’re willing to fight for what’s right!

So I’m asking you to donate $10, $25, $100, $500, or more to help “Stop Chow Now.”

Or better yet, sign up to make a monthly contribution automatically – it takes less than a minute to set up.

Whatever you donate, please make it the most generous contribution you can afford.

Together you and I, along with all the other Taxpayer Coalition supporters, can make a difference.

Thanks in advance for your support.

 

P.S. Thanks to forced dues and government funding, bug union bosses and special interest groups have lots of money to help Chow and the NDP. The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition relies on voluntary support. We rely on you and your generosity. Help us Stop Chow in 2014. Donate today.

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Olivia Chow + Mayor + Toronto = Terrible Weather + High Taxes + Out of Control Spending


I don’t think there is any coincidence whatsoever that the day MP Olivia Chow announces that she wishes to resign her seat with the Federal Government of Canada, to run for Mayor of Toronto that the beautiful weather here in Toronto went from 11 degrees above 0 to 25 degrees below zero.mayor candidates

Understanding that current Mayor Rob Ford is a bit of a… Where to start… Sideshow, to immediately think that his political views are no longer needed in Toronto would be a huge misrepresentation of the truth.

Considering candidate John Tory (a Liberal by affiliation, and fiscal conservative) said that Ford is correct that there is a lot of wasted spending which needs to be reeled in, it would therefore make reasonable sense that a typical left-wing mandate of spend, tax and spend more, would bankrupt this city.

As much as I like Karen Stintz, she can help the right-wing causes (she’s right of centre fiscally and left of centre socially) by taking aim at Chow right away. We already know how she feels about Ford and she worked on Tory’s campaign in the past.

There is also an 18-year-old running whom I saw on TV, and it’s great that the youth want to be included in the process, but Mayor is not a realistic goal when she appears to think the solution to transit woes, and high taxes and over-priced real estate is to ask – no demand – that the Provincial government and Federal government give Toronto more money.

Umm, that money is tax money and while I’m happy you earned some babysitting, if the other governments are going to give more to Toronto that means either raising taxes, or cutting spending.

My hand is up for cutting spending. Wasteful spending only please.  Please no one mention libraries or books, or Margaret Atwood, or she’ll register to run too…

Someone should also tell her that in fact everyone does pay property taxes, whether owning or renting, as it’s included in rent too.

But with all that being said, the most important thing to take out of this post, is that with this election coming and all the fuss about the Fords, there are elected representatives sitting in Toronto City council who run by their own agenda and are not accountable to you, the voter.

I found, then lost, a pie chart showing the voting patterns of City Councillors since Ford was elected and there are about 5 of them who voted against the Mayor on each and every issue without fail.

If in 3-years these councillors could not find one issue to side with the Mayor on, then who are clearly not serving you, who elected them. Other councillors found common ground, but without fail some councillors just see something brought forward by the Mayor and vote against it without giving it any further thought.

Imagine if they were Mayor, and council was on the right of centre politically and every time they brought forward a motion it was voted against without fail…

They would be crying to every paper possible about council not wanting to work with them, and about a hidden agenda.

Talk to your councillor now. Ask them for their citing record and see if they truly represent your views for the city of Toronto, or if it’s time for them to find another job.

Oh, and day 2 with Chow in the race… Still looking bleak. On all fronts.

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Thursday Thirteen – Taxation Related


As a taxation professional, it was only a matter of time before I posted a Thursday Thirteen that was taxation related.  I have a timely post this week around tax season – Canadian style – however some of it crosses the globe.If you ever want to read more taxation information or read my thoughts on managing, you can do so at www.intaxicating.wordpress.com.

But in the meantime, with tax filing season fast approaching, here are the 13 things you need to know before you file your 2011 tax returns;

13.  Contrary to popular belief of those on the left and those silly “Occupy” folks, in Canada (and the US), the top 10% of Canadian earners pay half of all personal income taxes, while the half of earners with the lowest income pay less than a tenth (1/10th) of the total. So those in the driver’s seat, the high and middle-income earners, they DO have some choice as to how much they want to spend and how much they plan to save, so by spending less, they pay less consumption taxes, less property tax, less gasoline tax, and other taxes and user fees – bank fees, late fees. interest on credit cards, etc., 

12.  Regardless of where you are and what you do, you really should file a tax return.  Canadian reporting is voluntary in certain conditions, but be sure before you pass on filing.  The CRA has a great list of when you need to file and why you should file right here;  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/flng-blgtns/menu-eng.html

11. You have the option to defer the paying of taxes, in some cases, when you save for retirement inside a RRSP / IRA or any other form of registered retirement savings plan.  In these plans, you defer payment of income taxes until later in life.  There are taxes assessed, when you withdraw the money after you have reached a certain age, usually 65-years-old, but those tax rates are probably lower than you would be paying now, if you have above-average income.

If your income is below average, you may be better off to pay taxes now and save in a tax-free savings account (TFSA).

If you save for your family inside a registered education savings plan or a registered disability savings plan, there will be a deferral of taxes on interest earnings, other investment returns and government grants. Then the child or other relative will likely pay little or no taxes on those savings.

10. Before you file make sure you have all your slips.  Amending sucks and looking for them last-minute can cause a lot of stress.  Trust me on that one.

9.  Make sure the government has correct information for you – address, name, direct deposit because you want your refund and if they audit you, they might not be re-assessing you, but rather they may be looking for an additional copy of a receipt they lost in the processing of 20 million tax returns.  Get to it and get to it quickly.  Do not ignore government mail and not open it.  Open it and action it..

8.. File this one electronically – but keep your receipts handy for audit and verification purposes.  It’s quick, you may get your money earlier and you’re saving trees,  My kids say thank you..

7.  If you owe money, do not write a note and attach it to your return, but contact the government and make a payment arrangement and honor it.  When your paper return comes into the processing centres, the processors, who are usually temporary hires to help the CRA get through the tax season, rip of cheques and process them right away, then they tear off any unnecessary paperwork and send the returns to a data processing group.  So if you include a piece of paper or maybe gold glittery powder, it’s in the classified waste bin right away.,

6. Think before you bitch – A third of all income in Canada is paid in taxes. But before you consider moving out of the country, consider that the Canadian tax burden is less than that of 19 other developed nations.  We, as Canadians only pay more taxes than 10 developed nations.

5. Why all the taxes?  Where does this tax revenue go?  With the tax revenue, 62% of it goes to pay for health care, education and social assistance, including unemployment benefits.  The rest, a measley 38% goes for everything else we need, like infrastructure, social programs, etc.  Not such a bad deal afterall, eh?

4. Not everything is taxed, here are some examples – There is no tax on a winning Lottery tickets, on scholarships, inheritances, gifts, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to the taxable Old Age Security (OAS) pension, Canada Child Tax Benefit cheques or child support payments after a divorce.  You pay no tax on at least the first $9,000 of waged earnings or $40,000 of income per year if you receive only eligible corporate dividends and $18,000 if you receive only capital gains.

3. On the flip side, some high-tax items – The income tax rate on income beyond $127,021 a year in 2010 was 46.4%. Taxes on cigarettes in Ontario was 63.5%; alcohol, 52.7%; and regular gasoline, around 36%.

2. The HST effect – The combined 13% federal and Ontario sales tax, the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) has boosted the incentive to conserve energy, because provincial sales tax did not apply to energy before July 1, 2011 – Thank you Dalton! – So you will save more if you choose a compact, well-insulated home close to your job and buy fuel-efficient vehicles – like my hybrid vehicle – appliances, lighting – get those halogen, CFC-free bulbs, and furnaces.

1. Tax relief opportunities – Numerous tax breaks and benefits aim to encourage you to better yourself or the economy, such as seek higher education, earn high grades, raise children, move closer to a job, belong to a professional group, take public transit, make charitable and political donations, invest in companies, start a small business, and save for retirement.  So get cracking. 

There are some easy wins here and some clear opportunities to save money and where we are all letting money slip through out fingers.

But whatever you do, get it there on time!  No point in paying the government a late filing penalty of $400.00 for your procrastination.

 Income Taxes By County

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