Musings on Taxes, Snow, and Garbage

Yesterday Global News Ontario reported that house sales are down dramatically in Toronto, yet have risen in a couple of 905 areas like Richmond Hill or Ajax. The thrust of the report was that the new land transfer tax is already affecting house sales in the 416 area, and then they ended it by saying maybe it was the weather because you couldn’t park anywhere in order to view houses.

Personally, I think it’s too early to tell. Year-over-year sales may be an indicator that the new Toronto land transfer tax is already chilling sales, yet the housing market doesn’t start heating up traditionally until the end of February or early spring. It’s usually a bit slow at this point in time, and so I’d be more interested in seeing what sales do in April, May, and June. Although I still believe doubling the land transfer tax for Toronto homes only was a dumb idea, I don’t think we can say “see, we told you so” yet.

It was nice that Toronto finally decided to shave the snow banks in my neighbourhood down to an easy-to- drive-onto height. And I totally get why side streets need to be plowed in the middle of the night, but could we possibly refrain from scaring the bejeesus out of us sound sleepers by not plowing the bare asphalt in a futile and very-late attempt to get rid of the tall snow-and-ice rut down the middle of the road. I thought Armageddon was descending upon me when this scraping thunder roared into my sleep, convincing me something nasty was coming right into my bedroom. And why was my street’s snow rut plowed several hundred times, and the rest of my neighbourhood left untouched?

And because I can’t leave this post without making at least one comment on Toronto’s stupid garbage policy, let me just note that I had to walk on the road the other day because the EMPTY bins were hogging the cleared part of the sidewalk. Now if the garbage had been put in bags, the sidewalk would have been free and clear for pedestrians to use once the garbage truck had trundled on by.

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