Last week at Council: Renaming Dundas Street, Vacant Home Tax, and Rooming Houses
Last week, City Council debated several items of high interest to residents.
One of the first items on the agenda was the City's motion to rename Dundas Street, EX25.1 Recognition Review Project Update and Response to the Dundas Street Renaming Petition. To view the motion, click here. After a lengthy debate, Council passed the motion with a majority vote of 17-7, with 2 Councillors absent. Denzil opposed the motion, saying the report ignored compelling research and evidence that did not support their recommendations. Click here to watch his speech to Council. You can read the transcript here.
Council approved EX25.3: Recommended Tax Design and Steps to Implement a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto, which recommended moving forward with the plan to impose a 1 per cent tax on vacant homes starting in 2022. The approved motion included an amendment from Denzil that said:
"That City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and Executive Director Housing Secretariat to include in the report back in the fourth quarter of 2021 the findings from consultations, proposed operational procedures and policies for the administration and enforcement of the vacant home tax program to ensure compliance with the applicable requirements of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."
The tax will not apply to primary residences, including those owned by residents who are absent for part of the year, such as snowbirds, or people who are away from their homes for medical reasons. Public consultations will take place this year, with implementation proposed for 2022 (i.e. first remittance in 2023).
Council deferred a vote on PH25.10 A New Regulatory Framework for Multi-tenant Houses that would have legalized and regulated rooming houses across the City. Denzil and several other Councillors shared their residents' concerns regarding the proposal, and intended to oppose it. It's scheduled to come back to Council on Sept. 30, after trying to address some of the residents' and Councillors' concerns.