The Ontario Tories have decided that they want to fund transit and roads through gas taxes!
Cue the cheering peasants dancing in the streets … well, er, um, ah … maybe not yet.
John Tory has discovered that about a third of the tax collected on fuel does not actually go to funding roads and transit. His solution to transit’s funding problems? Just redirect that missing third to transportation (a little over $1-billion per year). However …
We will have to wait up to five years for this to actually happen (beyond the 2011 election) as the provincial budget digests that level of hit on programs that use the “missing” billion. I wonder how John Tory plans to pay for this while delivering on the usual Tory promises to cut taxes and reduce overall government spending? This is almost as bad as waiting forever for Greg Sorbara to figure out that the province had money to spend on transit beyond his pet subway scheme.
So what do we have? “New” funding for transit based on gas taxes, but no new gas taxes. Efficiencies will be found elsewhere in government. A billion a year is a lot of efficiency, and over five years, the Tories would no doubt find their own boondoggles to spend on. With that kind of money, you could bury an “adscam”-sized project in the paperclip budget. Maybe something like changing the provincial colours to Tory Blue to match their Ottawa cousins.