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KINSELLA: Toronto's overlords pondering implementation of a rain tax


The City of Toronto plans to consult with 'water users' in April about taxing based on the amount of hard surfaces on a property


Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow arrives to West Block of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sept. 27, 2023. (The Canadian Press)


A rain tax.


(LILLEY UNLEASHED: Not just taxes going up at Toronto City Hall, so is Mayor Chow’s salary)

 

Seriously, they want to tax the rain.


Before we get started on the latest insanity to, um, seep out of Toronto’s municipal government, let’s give credit where credit is due, shall we?


For sheer gall, for its bottomless brazen brassiness, you can’t beat this one: a tax on rain. You almost have to admire the Bolsheviks who presently run Canada’s largest city, for their inventiveness and their total indifference to the taxpayer.


Almost.


And, let’s make one thing clear: we are not making this up, Virginia. Toronto-stan’s commissars have even issued a call for people to participate in what they call, benignly, a “Stormwater Charge & Water Service Charge Consultation.”


Here’s a few gems from their call for “consultation.” Get your smelling salts ready.


“The City of Toronto is consulting with water users and interested parties on the possible implementation of a stormwater charge,” they write, neglecting to mention that “water users” are all sentient beings living within the confines of Gulag Tee Dot.


They want to have “a stormwater charge for all property classes” – meaning, everyone will ultimately pay for the invasive wet stuff. Why? Well, just because.


Also, those pesky raindrops don’t just soak into the grass and plant life – which, last time we checked, is arguably a good thing – they sometimes dribble off into the sewers. Which, you know, were built to accommodate water that occasionally falls from the sky. But never mind.


Here in the Six, the Union of Soviet Toronto Republics, all that is now considered a bad thing. Writes the politburo:


“Stormwater is rain and melted snow. When not absorbed into the ground, stormwater runs off hard surfaces, onto streets, down storm drains and through a network of pipes that carry it into local waterways… Too much stormwater can overwhelm the city’s sewer system, which can lead to flooded basements and impacts to surface water quality in Toronto’s rivers, streams and Lake Ontario’s waterfront.”


And here, all this time, we thought rain was desirable. Apparently not. Apparently rain harms (checks notes) Lake Ontario. Gotcha.


So, the city wants to tax you for it. To calculate how much Rain Tax you will pay, the municipal apparatchiks will see how much “hard surface area” you have. They define that as frivolous and unnecessary things like “roofs, asphalt driveways, parking areas and concrete landscaping.”


The Rain Tax will appear as a separate line on your utility bill, but they won’t call it that. It’ll be called something to diminish the number of fainting spells and heart attacks it will inevitably cause. It’ll probably be located adjacent to their next proposal, “The Air Tax.”


How will the city calculate how much “hard surface” you’ve got? Good question. Knowing this crew, we’d wager they considered sending out a million New Democrat consultants with neon-orange measuring tapes, but they’re not doing that. Instead, they say they will “use aerial photography” to guesstimate how big your roof is. Sounds quite scientific, no?


“Marge, get my twelve gauge! The city’s sending spy drones over the back yard again!”

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Now, before you have a stroke, the city’s overlords wish it known that other municipalities are just as insane. Kitchener, Mississauga and Orillia all have a Rain Tax, too. And, where goes Orillia, so goes the nation.


Because, make no mistake, Toronto-stan’s rulers really, really want to do this. They’ve tried it before, too. Back in 2017, city bureaucrats pleaded with council to go along with a Rain Tax, and John Tory – who, full disclosure, this writer worked for, and not just because he opposed taxing rain, but because he was an adult and a sane person – shut them down.


Figuring out who would pay a Rain Tax, and how and when, would be like “unscrambling an egg,” Tory said at the time, which was a bit of an odd metaphor, but which also makes us miss him all the more.


Undaunted, the ‘crats are trying again, doubtlessly, er, egged on by the Team Trotsky now running things.


A Rain Tax. Seriously.


Now, before you head down to City Hall with pitchforks and torches, the Rain Taxers would like it known that they are merely “consulting” with you, to “provide feedback.” They’re even going to have some public meetings on the Rain Tax.


When? Well, in April, of course. Because, perhaps, April showers bring May flowers.


And, soon enough, a bigger bite out of your wallet.


Splish splash.


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