Tax Free


A thought experiment:

Tired of being bled dry by our vampirical municipal government, I decide to stop paying my property taxes and utility bills. For the sake of easy round numbers, let’s call it an even $4000 a year.

Now, with those 40 Robert Borden’s stuffed back into the pocket of my chinos, I’m going to venture out into the private, for-profit sector and acquire all those things the city used to provide in return for my hard-earned money.


1) Clean water piped directly into my house.

2) Dirty water and other nasty stuff piped directly out of my house and treated accordingly.

3) Garbage, waste and recycling collected from my curb on a weekly basis.

4) My streets cleaned in the summer, plowed in the winter and reasonably navigable all year round. Sidewalks should be plentiful when I chose to walk. And fit a bike path or two in as well.

5) My neighbourhood will be safe and secure. Fire services on the ready in case of a conflagration and emergency services nearby in case I twist my ankle on a rough patch in the sidewalk and I fall down into the street in front of a car.


6) Parks, well groomed and maintained. Swimming pools, clean and refreshing. A healthy tree canopy.

7) $3 more or less to take transportation to anywhere in the city at any time of day.

8) Make sure my neighbours don’t sell their attached house to an overzealous developer who decides to rip the place down and put a 40 story condo. Oh yeah. And make sure my neighbour doesn’t build a 40 foot fence dividing our backyards.

Maybe that can be the same people who police the streets but they’re already working for me 24/7, and the overtime’s going to put a serious dent in my 4 grand.

Let’s see. That cover everything?


Water & waste. Clean streets. Law & order. Public transit. Parks. Planning. Zoning.

Oh yeah, right…

9) I’m not crazy about people having to sleep out on the streets or park benches. So I’d be happy to chip in to provide some shelter and affordable housing if need be. But if it gets too expensive, we can throw people in jails and put them on the provincial dime.

10) It would also be good to make sure my local haunts keep their cutlery clean and ground chuck properly refrigerated. You can never be too careful.

11) Stray animals. Nothing’s more depressing than coming across homeless cats or dogs. OK, homeless people but I covered those in point 9. And racoons. Somebody’s got to keep those little buggers out of my attic.

So… water & waste. Clean streets. Law & order. Public transit. parks. Planning. Zoning. Various social services. Proper permits and licensing. Animal control.


All for $4000 a year. $333.33 a month. $83.33 a week. $11.90 a day.

And since this is all through the private sector, where efficiencies abound, I’ll be expecting some change.

— hypothetically submitted by Urban Sophisticat

7 thoughts on “Tax Free

  1. Under the Fords property taxes have gone UP 4.55% just to have less access to city services. Your water has gone up 9% each year for a 29.5% over the 3 years and will go up 9% in 2014…not to mention TTC fare hikes!

  2. Sure that’s just mental masturbation without a costing exercise to go with it. At $4,000 we could be over-paying for what we get.

    BTW, where I live the figure is more like $8,000 to $12,000. It’s getting hard to ask the $4K, $12K or $18k tax paying Toronto resident for an extra $1k/yr for “better transit” in the hope that it’s not wasted, or massively under-budgeted, this time around. I don’t have much confidence in MetroLinx or the TTC to manage anything properly!

    I see lots of stuff written with nothing to substantiate it. The Fords do that kind of dishonest trick too.

    The City is going to hell in a hand basket but so many people just want to push their own wee agendas. If only we could focus and get 45 competent and honest overseers. It’s not a difficult task running the city but the current crop of clowns do pull the wool over a lot of eyes. Even some who think they’re smart!

  3. The data are in and pretty conclusive – notwithstanding the complaining, the myth of private sector efficiencies, the relentless search for the gravy train, taxes are a smaller percentage of GDP than ever and are the last great bargain. Great post.

  4. There are times when I wish the corporate media would drop the transparent pretence of “objectivity” and just call a lie what it is.

  5. You forgot the most important detail: you must demand approximately twice what you formerly paid in taxes as a grant from the provincial and federal government. The cheque is in the mail, I’m sure.

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