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约克区政府需征新税来解决入不敷出的危机吗?
Does York Region need new taxes to cover its budget deficit?



 
作者按:约克区选民将在2018年10月22日举行的市政选举中决定自己的一票投给哪位约克区主席的候选人。在此之前,他们需要知道该行政区过去四年的表现如何。只有这样,他们才可以选择是把票投给寻求连任的候选人,还是投给其他具有新意的候选人。关于这一话题的早期文章,请点击:http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/664900。

Writer's Note: Before voters can decide who to vote for the position of York Region Chair in the upcoming municipal election on October 22, 2018 they will need to know how the Region was performing over the last four years. That way, they can either vote for more of the same from the incumbent, or be convinced by new challengers and their visions. For my earlier article on this series, please click: http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/664900

 根据报道,到2017年11月,约克区用于道路修建的预算面临15亿的资金短缺。因此,约克区政府计划将56个道路项目推迟到2031年以后再说。这些项目不在约克10年建设资本的预算内。这一切都始于约克区交通的总体规划。这一规划所需要的道路项目基于省政府预计的约克区人口增长规模以及如何解决目前交通拥挤的问题。这一资金短缺相当于一个人早上起床后突然第一次意识到他在未来10年将负债累累。

In November 2017, it was revealed that York Region is $1.5 billion short to fund its forecasted 10-year roads construction budget. As a result, the region plans to delay 56 of its projects beyond 2031. These projects were not previously included in the region’s 10-year capital budget. It all started when the region adopted a transportation master plan, a long list of roads projects based on population growth determined by the provincial government and managing traffic demands at today’s levels. It is almost tantamount to someone waking up one morning and realized for the very first time that he is in debt for the next ten years.

 
约克区财务主管建议,推迟这些道路项目可以在不增加区政府的债务,通过未来五年每年额外增加1%的地税税来解决资金短缺问题。这将使明年的区政府所收地税增加到3.77%。对于房屋估价为632,000元的普通房主,那意味着要多交89元地税。取决于您居住在哪个市或镇,约克区政府平均所收的税约占地税的47%。但这一建议没有在区议会通过,区议会决定推迟一年再来探讨这一建议(直到2019年)。值得注意的是,今年(2018年)是选举年,区议员大人们不想在选举前得罪选民。

The Region treasurer proposed that the delays could be moved up by several years, without adding to the region’s debt, by increasing property taxes by an extra one per cent a year for five years. This will add to the increasing regional taxes next year and make that 3.77 per cent. For the average homeowner with a house assessed at $632,000, it would go up $89. On average, the region takes about 47 per cent of the residential property tax bill but this varies depending on in which municipality you live. This proposal was delayed one year (until 2019) when Regional Councillors voted it down. It is interesting to note that this year (2018) is an election year and Council members do not want angry voters going into the voting booths.

 
为了弥补已经上马的交通项目所存在的资金短缺,约克区政府只好从道路建设储备基金中抽调资金并用未来收取的房屋开发费还给储备金。对于那些不熟悉开发费用的选民来说,开发费是政府向开发商收取的用于支付道路和下水道等基础设施的建设费用,开发商最终会将这些费用转嫁给新的购房者。

To make up for the immediate shortfall for ongoing projects, the region would borrow from a roads capital acceleration reserve fund and repay it from future development charges. For those not familiar with development charges, they can be best explained as fees collected from developers to pay for growth infrastructure such as roads and sewers and passed on to new home buyers.

随着约克区政府的债务在2017年达到峰值29亿元,约克区曾向省府要求给予新的征税权力。在安省大选前两周,约克区议员大人们再次要求省府赋予约克区政府新的征税权。区政府抱怨说,它每年有2.2亿元的基础设施要兴建,如果不能突破每年财产税3%的上限,它就无法支付这些新建项目。他们要求与多伦多市政府同样的征税权力。



With the region’s debt hitting a peak of $2.9 billion in 2017, York Region demands power to bring in new taxes. Two weeks before the provincial election, York Region councillors renewed their demand that Queen’s Park give them new taxing powers. The region complained that it has $220 million dollars a year in infrastructure needs that it can’t afford to pay for as long as it sticks to its current cap of three per cent in annual property taxes.  They want taxing powers similar to the City of Toronto.

约克区议会指出,目前市政当局已经有权实施酒店,空置单位税和收费公路。如果获得新的征税权,约克区可以和多伦多一样征收包括土地转让,车辆登记,酒,娱乐和娱乐,停车和烟草税。所有这些举措都表明,约克区财务吃紧,迫切需要通过新税获得更多资金。

York Regional Council pointed out that municipalities already have the power to implement hotel and vacant unit taxes and roll tolls. If approved with their new taxing powers, York Region can add a number of new fees permitted in Toronto on taxpayers including municipal land transfer, vehicle registration tax, alcohol, entertainment and amusement, parking and tobacco taxes. All of these moves would indicate that York Region is in dire need of more funding through taxes and is starting to struggle with financial management.

 
选民必须判断和评估约克区政府在其主席领导下在使用税收方面是否合理。选民们还必须好好看看那些候选人的资历,确定他们是否有能力来管理这个人口迅速膨胀的行政区。选民们现在只有不到100天的时间来决定自己的一票究竟投给谁。

Voters will have to judge and assess if the Region (through the leadership of its Chair) is doing a good job with managing their tax dollars. They also have to look at the credentials of the other candidates and determine if they have what it takes to manage the Region efficiently with its rapidly expanding population. They have only less than 100 days to make up their minds now.




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