Toronto Utility Bill (Water and Garbage) - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-16, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Toronto Utility Bill (Water and Garbage)

I just sent the following to CP24.

Quote:
The City states that “Solid Waste User Fees and rates” went up 2.2%. This is in actuality a lie (misleading?) because the rebates went down tremendously. So, while I was billed $27.65 last year for my small bin, my Solid Waste bill will be $99.71 in 2019. The amount I am billed has almost quadrupled. People with medium bins will now pay almost $100 more per year ($242 instead of $145), etc.

The bill I was sent was extremely confusing because, rather than containing the “current bill”, it also included all of the amounts from my previous bill (water, garbage, etc). This was done apparently because my previous billing date was January 10 and some of the fees they are now charging go back to January 1. Anyone who’s previous bill date was not January 1, receiving this latest bill, will be very confused. The city will likely receive a lot of calls from a lot of confused people.
To be fair, I have found the following on the Toronto.ca website:

https://www.toronto.ca/services-paym...in-sizes-fees/

Quote:
In the past, Solid Waste Management Services single-family ratepayers have received a rebate or credit on their utility bill funded from the property tax base. In 2019, City Council approved the phase out of the single-family rebate over three years. The phasing out of the rebate will support Solid Waste Management Services’ transition to a self-sufficient and sustainable utility where operating expenses are fully covered by rate revenues. The single-family residential large garbage bin rebate will be phased out in 2019, the medium garbage bin rebate over 2019 and 2020 and the small garbage bin rebate over 2019, 2020 and 2021.
So, while the garbage fee (for those with small bins) was close to zero (even a credit) a short while ago it will go to $260+inflation/year once the rebates are gone) People with the Extra-Large bin will be paying roughly $500/year.

So, retired people, living in a single family home, with small bins, who were once getting a small credit will soon be paying roughly $300/year for garbage collection. (There is some relief for low income households)

There is one additional zinger. Recently the city started charging $8/year/dwelling for "oversize" items, whether you utilized that service or not. This year the fee went to $15/year/dwelling.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-17, 10:47 AM
 
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Well said 57.
Our 18 unit condo is experiencing a 10.9% effective increase in garbage costs this year as a result of the oversize fee increase.
We have had a number of billing disputes over the years as a result of mistakes by the City Revenue Dept, all finally cleared in our favour. We are forced to track the charges closely as a result. We had a bin stolen and replaced (at our cost) which triggered errors in two billing cycles until corrected. I'd advise taxpayers to take careful note of the bin ID numbers in case of dispute.
Thanks for ID'ing the long-rumored phase-out of the rebate. This will trigger a 190% increase in our waste management costs next year.
Overall the message in Toronto is to downsize your garbage bin to the smallest size you can live with (buy some tags for backup), and of course divert as much as possible to the blue bins (so long as the City continues to accept what they do - a future issue no doubt).

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-17, 02:55 PM
 
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I always chuckle when people living in Toronto bring up rate increases. Property taxes are so low compared to the GTA.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-17, 03:03 PM
 
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At least in Toronto they know how much they pay for garbage - most of the rest of the province has it buried in general taxes, not knowing how much they pay as it is hidden.

No wonder Tony Soprano was in the waste business...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-17, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinto View Post
I always chuckle when people living in Toronto bring up rate increases. Property taxes are so low compared to the GTA.
Let's see, over the past 20 years my taxes have increased by roughly 170%. Inflation during that time has been roughly 70%. I live in uptown (some call it midtown) Toronto and I know that taxes in the burbs either stayed relatively flat, or increased only a minor amount, especially during the first part of MVA (Market Value Assessment) in the early 21st century. So we "downtowners" have born the brunt of Toronto tax increases during that time frame.

I live in a small home on a 32' lot. Taxes that are based on home value in no way relate to the cost of services used by the people in our area. I am certainly happy to be living where I am, however, I heavily subsidize people further out or with a low MVA.

My post was not really about my taxes though - rather the fact that:

1. My net cost for garbage collection has increased dramatically while council states that taxes have only increased 2%.

2. The Garbage collection rate increases are "buried" in a convoluted statement combined with water bills for two billing cycles that only math scholars can decipher.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-17, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinto View Post
I always chuckle when people living in Toronto bring up rate increases. Property taxes are so low compared to the GTA.
They are on the lower end of the spectrum - but as far as I know, most other GTA taxes include things like garbage pickup for which you get separate utility bills for in Toronto.

Also Toronto Water rates (water and sewage) seem to be much higher than comparing to Mississauga.

I'm not sure there's that much difference by the time you add up all the charges - for some municipalities at least. There's a lot of variance over 905.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-19, 07:01 AM
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Funny how they did not play fair and lower the taxes by the rebate amount, transfer the responsibility. Rather raise tax rates under the guise of something having to pay for itself. Love how honest all politicians and administrators are!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-19, 11:27 AM
 
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Gzinc et al:
out of fairness to Toronto Revenue, they came up with a pricing scheme originally designed to encourage households to minimize their waste (variable charge based upon volume, rebate per household), then threw in a flat-rate fee for heavy item pickup for furniture and appliances and the like - basically to increase revenue within the pricing set by independents such as 1-800-***-junk. Of course that makes it more difficult to understand their billings, especially when they change rates in arrears.
Water being on the same billing, they have to match (re)billing periods for the two services, although there has been talk about splitting the billings.
Comes down to simplicity vs. idealistic incentives (ditto for water meters vs. flat rate charges).
But to revert to OP's complaint, yes, politicians should come clean on real-world effective rate increases.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-19, 12:48 PM
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I agree that the creator of the waste should pay. The problem with pay per use or pay by volume fees is that it diverts a lot of waste to illegal disposal. We've had toxic waste and construction waste dumped on our property (a normal residential lot) most likely because of to high dump fees. Due to the location and activity on their property, we know who did it but cannot prove it because it was done when nobody was looking. I caught another neighbor throwing dog feces over the fence. We also get toxic smoke from people burning yard waste, construction materials and other toxic products. That often prevents the normal use of our property. I guess it's cheaper than paying $40 at the dump for construction waste disposal of even paying 50 cents each for yard waste bags. Trying to identify the source of the problem and get someone out to enforce bylaws is not always easy.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-19, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman_C View Post
But to revert to OP's complaint, yes, politicians should come clean on real-world effective rate increases.
Just reminded me of a Calgary counciler more than once saying it won't cost the taxpayer anything since we are using a surplus from elsewhere. Well who contributed to make the surplus. So now where does the former rebate money go???
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 2019-05-19, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gzink View Post
So now where does the former rebate money go???
It goes into general Tax revenue where they should be saying your taxes are going up 3-4-5% depending, instead of 2% (if they were honest).

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