August 17, 2023 (TORONTO, ON) — A new city report released today has confirmed that a commercial parking levy is a revenue tool that should be prioritized by the City of Toronto to help pay for vital city services like transit.
The report, set to be voted on by Mayor Chow’s new Executive Committee on August 24, confirms that a commercial parking levy could bring in up to $490 million a year to fund transit and other climate priorities. The report also makes it clear that the city needs new, sustainable revenue tools and support from the provincial and federal governments.
“Next week's Executive Committee meeting is a chance for Mayor Chow to rebuild after many years of the previous administration shortchanging urgent City priorities,” says Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Executive Director of TTCriders. “We hope to see her lead the way to advance her campaign commitment to reversing TTC service cuts with a commercial parking lot levy as a dedicated transit funding source.”
A new transit revenue tool like a commercial parking lot levy on big malls and commercial landlords could provide a much-needed boost to the TTC and help the City reach its climate goals. The TTC is facing a major operating budget shortfall of $366 million in 2023. Today’s report shows that a small levy of just $1.50 per spot per day (or just $0.07 per spot per hour), paid by commercial property owners like big box stores and shopping malls, could generate up to $490 million annually.
“Toronto City Council has set an ambitious goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040,” says How-Sen Chong, Climate Campaigner at Toronto Environmental Alliance. “Fast, accessible, affordable, and reliable transit is a key foundation to meeting those goals, and we need these new funding tools in order to achieve them.”
“It’s time to move forward and win back riders with better service,” says transit user Vincent Puhakka. “This means new city funding, and support from all levels of government.”
Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Director, TTCriders, (416) 309-9026
How-Sen Chong, Climate Campaigner, Toronto Environmental Alliance (437) 961-0525
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* For more on the Commercial Parking Lot Levy, download our backgrounder here.