Toronto

Vehicle tax refunds returned by a few

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford scored an early victory when council voted to do away with the vehicle registration tax, but some people unhappy with the move have taken to returning their refunds.
Stephen Douglas speaks after his meeting with an assistant for Mayor Rob Ford. 2:36

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford scored an early victory when council voted to do away with the vehicle registration tax, but some people unhappy with the move are returning their refunds.

When council killed the tax in December it meant a savings for car owners but a monetary hit to the city coffers of $56 million.

The city started mailing out $60 rebates in February to those who had pre-paid to register their passenger vehicles for 2011.

After Etobicoke resident Stephen Douglas got his cheque, he said he "really felt torn."

"It means that there isn't funding in the city for other things the city really needs the funding for," he said.

So Douglas decided to deliver the cheque earlier this week to the mayor's office with a letter.

Transit system 'falling apart'

"There's a transit system that's falling apart right now," said Douglas, adding he wouldn't have to drive as much if transit were better.

Ford has said that drivers shouldn't have had to pay the levy in the first place, and said the move to revoke the fee is a big win for drivers.

Coun. Adam Vaughan, who opposed the move to kill the fee, showed off another returned cheque and letter at a city council meeting this week.

Vaughan said he's had calls from others wanting to give the money back. The city said it has received a handful of returned rebates, although staff could not specify further.

Staff have posted a link on the city's website to a donation form.

Anyone who returns their cheque will get a tax receipt and the money will go back into general revenues for the city.

The vehicle registration tax, introduced by the council headed by Ford's predecessor David Miller, was an annual $60 fee for most passenger vehicles and $30 for motorcycles.

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