Putting out the trash will be more expensive in Toronto next year under a plan to raise residential fees by 3 per cent and introduce charges for charities and religious institutions for waste collection.
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the city’s public works committee, said the increase is necessary to fund capital improvements, stressing it is the first since 2009.
“I think the residents of the city of Toronto are prepared to make investments if they know where the money is going,” he said.
Water rates also are scheduled to increase by 9 per cent again in 2014 – the last year in a string of planned increases. The hike will add $73 to the average bill, taking it to $887 annually.
The plan to charge fees for garbage collection to charities, institutions and religious groups – proposed last year and deferred – is likely to meet some resistance. Under the proposal, the fees will be phased in over four years beginning in January.
Mr. Minnan-Wong said most area municipalities already charge charities for collection and if the fees are not imposed, the money would need to be made up in higher increases elsewhere.
Mayor Rob Ford, who is promising to limit next year’s residential tax increase to 1.75 per cent, said the increase to rates for garbage and water is needed.
“I hate increasing taxes, but you know we are going to have to do it,” he told reporters Wednesday.
The increase in garbage fees would add between $6.72 and $12.85 to the cost of collection depending on the size of container used by a household.
Mr. Minnan-Wong said the need to invest in the city’s waste-water system was evident this summer when Toronto was hit by a torrential downpour that caused extensive flooding on streets and in homes.
“This is a necessary investment,” he said. “There is a huge, huge need.”
The proposed increases will be debated by the city’s budget committee beginning Friday and must be approved by council.