Toronto Winter Maintenance Budget

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    I was running some errands and I passed by one of Toronto's Snow cleaning machines when a thought came to mind.

    Toronto has a yearly maintenance budget $65 million. I know that in the past many years, we haven't had much of a winter in terms of snow... They only spend 1/5th of that budget on snow removal and winter maintenance.

    So what does Toronto do with the unspent balance of the winter maintenance budget. They clearly don't spend it on the roads as they all look like crap. They only time they do fix the roads is when elections are coming up....

    They don't spend it on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) as I think it's privately owned (i think).

    Hmm... Torontorians... does it not make you wonder?

    You always hear facts that are leaked of the government and city councilors that have insane budgets. Such as spending $10, 000 on a dinner party or having allowances to spend on the stupidest and most careless things!

    Every year they add all these new taxes; it's insane! They've added that $60 vehicle-registration tax every year for when you renew your plates. Us Torontorians pay a yearly garbage and recycling bin rental fee (and we can't even buy it). They have even risen the prices for 2011!

    Garbage Bins Yearly Fee (2010 vs 2011)
    Small:
    2010 -- $10 credit | 2011 -- $4.03 credit
    Medium
    2010 -- $39 | 2011 -- $46.44
    Large
    2010 -- $133 | 2011 -- $143.26
    Extra Large
    2010 -- $190 | 2011 -- $201.97

    Property taxes went up. Don't forget last year's HST tax. All utility bills have risen. Gas prices are on a price hike.

    I am starting to become fed up!

    Toronto's Councilors? Screw you!

    aimeeern, ~ d a n ~, otro_mun2, and 14 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 9 more comments

    1. terryxiao269 [deleted] 51 months ago | reply

      Looks lovely to me... all that political-economy stuff aside.
      Go, Michael, go!
      Start a campaign, get them!

    2. Scorpocat 51 months ago | reply

      Local authorities everywhere spend too much and have little to show for it. Spending other people's money is so easy....

      Do you have to renew your licence plates every year? Unbelievable.

      Great street scene.

    3. Latvian98 51 months ago | reply

      The bins you are referring to may match the ones at one of my FL properties...one container split down the middle with paper/cardboard stuff on one side, and cans and glass on the other.
      In Florida you can renew your plates every two years, but you pay for two years rather than one. All it eliminates is the annual hassle, not the cost. I am not sure if a two year sticker is offered in Ohio.

    4. Arsyad Abiyoga 51 months ago | reply

      stunning view here ! FAV :D

    5. MSVG 51 months ago | reply

      No no, it's two separate containers. Each put out every other week. So if this week was recycling pickup next week would be garbage pickup and so on.

      We also have that 2 year option.

    6. Latvian98 51 months ago | reply

      Your trash is picked up every other week? How do you keep from having smelly rotting food and maggots and such from clouding up the neighborhood? Yuck! Our recycling bin is overflowing each week with only two of us in the household...how do you deal with all of that built up stuff laying around? We have trash and recycle collection each week, although depending on if the recycling is picked up by the locality or a private recycler, the day may not be the same day as trash collection. As for the divided container that I am referring to, it is a bin like the full-sized trash bin, but it is for recycling only, with wood-based products on one side, and glass and metal on the other.

    7. MSVG 51 months ago | reply

      Well, we are forced to recycle basically everything and anything we can. As for organic waste, we have a tiny green bin that we put that crap into where they pick it up every week.

      Here's a photo of that green bin and the recycling bin.

    8. Martin van Duijn 51 months ago | reply

      Great photo here!

      But I'm not feeling sorry for a $60 vehicle registration fee. I pay € 40 for the Mazda MX-5 and € 34 for the Honda motor tax - monthly! And still, all the costs of traffic - roads, maintenance and construction, environmental costs, motorway police, medical costs of people involved in a traffic accident, you name it, can not be paid out of the motor tax or fuel tax. So, most of it still comes from the general revenues. Does anyone actually realize the tremendous costs we create by our desire for our own private transportation? There are plans for a new 10 kilometer long four lane road between Katwijk and the main motorway between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, through an urban area, complete with a tunnel and bridges. Costs: € 550.000.000.

    9. otro_mun2 51 months ago | reply

      You make a very valid point, Martin. The cost for us to drive a personally owned vehicle in the US are very cheap compared to many other countries.

    10. MSVG 51 months ago | reply

      That's where things differ. We pay here for our own private transportation.

      We have a population here in Toronto of approximately 7 000 000 people.

      Now given that half the population own a car that is
      $74 + $60 = $134 x 3 500 000 = $469 000 000 a year the city gets.

      Also, there's a 13% tax on the gasoline so given that $1 000 000 dollars worth of gas is bought per day (and I am being very generous with that number), $13 000 goes to the government a day; thats $4 745 000 a year they get plus all those property taxes that go to maintain the roads around that property.

      Get where I am getting at? They have Plenty of money to put towards fixing and building roads for a city. But yet they don't do that as our roads are crap.

      They also take quite a bit off our paychecks for all these insurances and taxes most of which we never get back or don't get when we need it.

      Let's say I make $1000 a week, I get a net of 700 while the $300 goes towards the government.

      I am not just focusing on a $60 fee, I am fixing on all the ridiculous taxes that exist here in Toronto and they keep on going up.

      I don't need your pity as I am only expressing an anger and frustration that only Torontorian can relate to!

    11. Martin van Duijn 51 months ago | reply

      But as huge that that sum may sound, roughly $500.000.000 out of vehicle registration fees and gasoline taxes is small peanuts for a 7.000.000 population town. Amsterdam has a population of only 700.000, so it is 10 times smaller as Toronto, and its 2010 budget for traffc infratructure was € 430.000.000, so about the same as the revenues from vehicles you calculate for Toronto. If Toronto can only spend 500.000.000 dollars on its roads, no wonder that your roads are in a poor condition.

    12. MSVG 51 months ago | reply

      Given the costs of labour and an article which I can;t find at the moment with the actual costs of what to fix. That should be more than an adequate amount to fix the road being that Toronto itself is not that big of a city,

    13. C. Dastodd 51 months ago | reply

      this is a really terrific composition. a great shot!

      on the thought of snow clearing, I constantly face this issue here in Chicago as I live on what is designated to be a very minor side street!!

    14. Kim Yokota 51 months ago | reply

      MSVG for Mayor!
      Nice shot, you caught the light perfectly.

    15. Latvian98 51 months ago | reply

      Very few towns can efficiently shuttle people around in America using public transportation. If the city does not have subways or trams, it is imperative to have personal transportation. I could not have worked in SW Florida ANYWHERE that paid any decent wage if I did not have my personal transportation. Look at this link showing the four different locations that I had as my office just when working for the bank in '07 and living in Lehigh Acres:
      www.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=4325+Lee...

    16. AshtonPal 51 months ago | reply

      It does make me wonder. The people who run our city, really can't run the city properly. That's all I'm going to say and no, I can't do a better job, but you'd think these people would do a better job for us.

    17. Uncle Lynx 51 months ago | reply

      Nice image of our first notable snowfall. I love the glow in the distance - a promise of future warmth perhaps?

    18. fotograf1v2 51 months ago | reply

      Extraordinary light in a situation of weather I'm not at all accustomed to here.
      Nothing inflames the population more than the continual rises in the cost of living, much of the excuses (now), being blamed on the global financial crisis - as if they wouldn't have risen anyway! There is always an excuse why costs must rise. Truth be told though, virtually every individual owning a car in a large metropolis is outrageous where public transport infrastructure has been allowed to grind to a 'patch and repair' situation rather than radical overhauling and forward thinking in prioritising sustainable alternatives to moving the population around. The cost of yet another highway and bypass, let alone the ongoing maintenance issues is a bottomless pit for everyone. Here, the spread on urbanisation encroaches on fertile farmlands in far-reaching new suburbs around our major cities, each just that little bit further for the population to travel for work and recreation, so necessitating further road building to connect to ever more clogged highways and slowed travelling times. A push to build up density around transport hubs to stop this urban sprawl engenders much current debate - as long as it doesn't effect me! That's the attitude! Toronto's 7,000.000 people in North American, as well as World terms, IS a large city. My state's capital, Melbourne has a population of around 4,000.000 and is experiencing much of the problems I mentioned earlier, though even so, was deemed in recent year's surveys as, "one of the World's most liveable cities". (I think some Canadian cities were up there on this list too). Grumbling by the masses usually gets us the politicians we probably deserve. Talk is is easy but taking bold initiatives to begin remedying these universal problems is, like climate change, the big issues we all must face and be affected by and therefore must influence, each in our small way.

      --
      Seen on your photo stream. (?)

    19. Bubba  Willuk (Away) [deleted] 51 months ago | reply

      I adore you image. The mix of coolness and warmth is immensely appealing, and the approaching vehicle with the headlamps adds a bit of sparkle and life to the view.

      As for the issues regarding taxation and other levies... so much I would say with too few words for me to express it clearly, to make it be of some importance and value in a different culture to my own.

    20. v15ben 43 months ago | reply

      Love this image. The sky colours are such a great contrast to the snow and dirty cars!

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