Toronto

Province gives Toronto new taxing powers

The Ontario government has passed a law giving Canada's largest city broad new taxing powers on the sale of alcohol and tickets for public events.

The Ontario government has passed a law giving Canada's largest city broad new taxing powers on the sale of alcohol and tickets for public events.

Once it goes into effect, Toronto's city council will have the ability to institute municipal taxes on alcohol served at bars and restaurants, as well as on movie and concert tickets.

Critics say the move clears the way for the city to introduce more taxes on residents and businesses, but Mayor David Miller applauded the decision.

He said it allows the city to develop "made-for-Toronto" policies, and should reduce Toronto's reliance on property taxes.

The Ontario government indicated other municipalities may receive extra taxing powers such as those granted Toronto, but did not go into details.

The provincial Legislature passed the City of Toronto Act Monday. It is expected to be in effect by the end of the year, which would mean after the municipal elections set for November.

The act also gives Toronto new powers to set design standards for buildings and focus development on specific areas without requiring provincial approval.

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