Toronto is facing a $575 million shortfall for next year’s budget and must find new sources of revenue. Because City Council voted in late July to defer a decision on bringing in a new land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee, which would bring in $356 million per year, the City will have no choice but to cut services.
The proposed cuts will not only impact community centres, libraries and social services. It could very likely have a direct impact to arts funding. Arts and Culture in Toronto has never been so threatened. The Land Transfer Tax will generate revenue from home buyers and is essentially a tax on those who can afford it at a time when they can afford it. For more information on the Land Transfer Tax and The Personal Vehicle Registration Fee visit www.fairtaxes.ca
What you can do:
- Attached you will find a template for a brief letter to send to your City Councillor. Cut and paste it onto your company letterhead.
- Amend and personalize the letter as you like, signed by the leader or Board Chair of your organization.
- TAPA has identified 4 City Councillors whose position could prove to be pivotal in the vote:
Brian Ashton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony Perruzza: email@example.com
Maria Augimeri: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Grimes: email@example.com
- Email the letter to your own City Councillor and to the Councillors listed above.
- C.C. the letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Type this into the subject line “ YES to Fair Taxes”
- Do this TODAY. A vote is imminent.
TAPA also is participating in, and supports, the efforts of the Toronto Arts Coalition who is spearheading an awareness campaign. Encourage your audiences and supporters to join the Toronto Arts Coalition http://www.torontoartscoalition.org. The Coalition will send out automatic emails and updates to members and make it very easy to communicate directly with elected representatives. Membership is free. If you have already sent a letter via the Toronto Arts Coalition campaign, we encourage you to send the attached letter as well. The more letters that Council receives, the more effective our advocacy will be.
Culture is the icon of every great city. We cannot allow ourselves to be complacent. I urge you to take action. Please demonstrate your leadership by ensuring that our cultural persona remains vital and recognizable.
Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts
Dear Mayor Miller and City Councillors,
Arts and culture are a vital part of the growth and livability of any major metropolitan city. In order for Toronto to become the best it can be, I support the Land Transfer Tax.
The Arts are a key economic force in all major cities around the world such as London, New York and Paris, to name a few. The Arts employs over 100,000 Torontonians either directly or indirectly and contributed over $8 billion dollars to the city’s GDP in 2001 (Deloitte). The Arts are essential to the health and well being of the city and its citizens.
As a Torontonian and arts worker, I want to see Toronto be the best it can be. By cutting essential service such as the TTC, closing public libraries, community centres, recreation programs, museums, and funding for the arts, you are effectively cutting off everything that makes Toronto the 5th most livable city in the world (The Economist Magazine, August 2007).
Last year over 2 million tickets were sold to theatre, dance and opera in the City of Toronto. In addition, close to half a million Torontonians took to the streets during the early morning hours to experience, engage and enjoy Nuit Blanche. Surely these facts are an indisputable indication that Torontonians value culture. Toronto is on the precipice of becoming a world-class cultural capital and to suddenly cut funding would cause irreparable damage to our thriving arts scene.
I am passionate about the arts, Toronto and making this the best place in the world to live.
I support the Land Transfer Tax and implore you to vote YES!