May 29, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Mitzie Hunter is defending her position on property taxes increases as doable without additional bureaucracy at Toronto City Hall.

The mayoral candidate was among the “top 6 in The Six” to visit ZoomerPlex in Liberty Village over the Doors Open weekend.

Hunter faced criticism among Zoomer Radio’s Tune into the Town municipal panelists on Fight Back with Libby Znaimer for proposing tax increases based on income because of the additional bureaucracy it would create.

City Councillors Paula Fletcher and James Pasternak explained that there are tax cancellation and tax deferment programs already in place for low income seniors and the disabled, so Pasternak acknowledged “the infrastructure and programs are there, but whether this (Hunter’s plan) could be handled on that scale is debatable.”

“I don’t think that’s possible to handle it on this scale,” chimed in Fletcher.

“We don’t run around and go chasing people to apply for these programs, you have to come in and fill out the forms,” Pasternak further explained.

But Mitzie Hunter says she’s confident the current system can handle the change.

“We do have mechanisms already built in for exemptions and what I was able to do for seniors is raise that exemption threshold from property tax increase from $55,000 to $80,000,” Hunter explained to Zoomer Radio’s Jane Brown, “And recognizing that more people because of the rising cost of food and other things are really feeling it right now in terms of affordability so I wanted to make sure that more people got that break from increases in property taxes.”

Under Hunter’s plan, homeowners who make less than $80,000 per year would face a 3 percent tax hike, while those who make over that threshold would face a 6 percent hike.

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