Mayoral candidate Brad Bradford in a campaign event Tuesday morning criticized his rival Olivia Chow’s promise to raise property taxes.
Speaking in Scarborough to reporters, Bradford said Chow’s promise will raise property taxes by nearly 20 per cent.
“Olivia Chow is beholden to the NDP activists, and she’s racking up a bill for taxpayers with no credible plan to pay for it,” Bradford said.
In her campaign, Chow, a former NDP MP and former city councillor who ran for mayor in 2014, has promised to raise taxes on the Municipal Land Transfer tax for homes valued at more than $3 million.
The current rate for homes valued at $3 million is 2.5 per cent. If elected, Chow promises to raise the tax by one per cent to 3.5 per cent.
Chow also promised to raise the Vacant Home Tax from one per cent to three per cent.
Bradford said those proposed hikes would make the city less affordable for homeowners and promised to keep taxes low if elected.
“Young families and new Canadians and seniors are fighting to make ends meet here in Toronto,” he said. “That’s why making life in Toronto more affordable is a top priority for my campaign.”
Chow’s campaign site said the Municipal Land Transfer tax increase affects less than two per cent of home sales each year. However, Bradford said that the revenue generated is still unreasonable.
“Olivia Chow’s not being honest about the amount of revenue that can be derived from these different tax policies,” he said.
Bradford said that when added the revenue may not amount to what Chow’s campaign suggests.
According to Chow’s campaign the revenue made from homes valued at $3 million alone can amount to over $2 million.
Recent polls suggest that Chow remains the lead choice for voters; a poll released by Mainstreet Research on May 19 shows she has 30 per cent of decided voter support.
Ana Bailao is in second place with 20 per cent of decided voter support, according to the poll, and Bradford has four per cent of decided voter support.
According to Mainstreet Research 26 per cent of voters are still undecided.
The poll was conducted using an automated telephone survey involving 1125 adults in Toronto age 18 years or older. The margin of error is plus or minus two per cent.
Despite placing lower than other candidates in the polls just five weeks before the by-election, Bradford said he is not worried about the outcome.
Bradford noted that in the 2003 mayoral election, former mayor David Miller was low in the polls around this time.
“So, this thing is not done,” he reassured.
Candidates leading in the polls will participate in back-to-back debates this week.
The first is at the University of Toronto Scarborough on Wednesday focusing on Scarborough issues, and the second at the University of Toronto St. George campus on Thursday focusing on livability and prosperity.
There are currently 102 candidates running to be Toronto’s next mayor in a by-election set to take place on June 26.