Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan Misses His Beloved Miller Gravy Train...

Elitist Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan, the #1 enemy of the Toronto Taxpayer, admitted to the Toronto Star that the Gravy Train did indeed exist under the Mayor Miller Regime, and now complains that a new Gravy Train has been created, and unfortunately for him, it is one that is finally for the Toronto Taxpayer...

Here's the story from the Toronto Star:

Why council's left wing let Ford have his way
During the campaign, the Miller loyalists warned they would form a rogue government with a de facto mayor so as to keep the city moving. The belief was that Ford would not have enough support on council to push through his agenda.

That was then. Today the political landscape looks much different.

Ford has built a strong team of right-wingers who are relishing their new power. The mushy middle, largely made up of rookie councillors, is open to the mayor’s proposals. And with voters replacing Sandra Bussin and Adrian Heaps with more right-leaning councillors, there are fewer progressives in the mix.

Between Ford’s momentum and the ideological make-up of council, the left didn’t have much hope, said Councillor Adam Vaughan, one of the few who voted against repealing the personal vehicle tax and putting $60 or more back in the pockets of those who can afford cars. “There is a gravy train and it’s still running through the city,” he said. “It’s just running in a different direction and through different neighbourhoods.”

Yeah, "priority" neighbourhoods of hard working Torontonians who don't need another tax so that Adam Vaughan and his elitist scumbag leftist colleagues can feed their wasteful and disasterous pet projects that do nothing to help the majority of Torontonians, but moreso help out the elitist privileged few.

It's no surprise to see how disconnected with reality Councillor Adam Vaughan is, and how comfortable he has become is his sheltered shell of elitist rhetoric and magical fantasy that his constituents have allowed him.

Councillor Vaughan was one of the Toronto City Councillors that was most adamantly against the repealing of the Toronto Personal Vehicle Tax, and voted against it. During his 5-10 minutes given to speak on the subject in Council, here is what Adam Vaughan had to say (if you would like to see this for yourself, please watch the online video at the following link on Rogers TV: Rogers TV - Toronto City Council Online Video):

I ran on a platform, I got elected on a platform twice, and in both those campaigns, I clearly stated to my constituents, and to the voters, and to the residents, and to the businesses, and everyone else who lives in the Ward, more than just taxpayers, I promised to bring forth, new taxes. I promised that, and particularly the Vehicle Registration Tax, but also some of the other taxes that have been afforded to us under the City of Toronto Law. I didn't do it to increase taxes, I did it to diversify revenues. And I'll tell you why I think that's so critically important at this time and why I believe, I think it was about 74% of my constituents that voted for me, because I took the case to them on a community-by-community basis, and explained why vehicle registration tax, which is never gonna be popular, but just might be fair, is a good way of diversifying the revenue streams.

Those of us who represent areas that have a lot of real-estate speculation going on know that small businesses, and seniors in their homes, are being punished by market value assessment. This has nothing to do with whether they choose to drive or not, choose to own 1 car, 2 cars, 3 cars, they didn't choose to renovate their house or not renovate their house, the reality is that 2 people on your street flip a property, and 2 other people renovate their property, every senior on your street, let alone people that are on fixed incomes based on wage freezes, but everybody on that street pays for that speculation. And they are punished for it. And on small business strips in particular in the downtown core, the real-estate values are rising very very quickly, and caps are coming off, we've had assessments jump from 8 Million to 23 Million Dollars on 4 story buildings, and they're bankrupting families who have owned businesses in our Wards for generations.

What the new tax revenues did, and there's about a Billion Dollars worth of them, in the Billboard Tax, to the Land Registry Tax, to all of the different revenue streams that we created in the last 4 years, that Billion Dollars in revenue gave us the flexibility and the power, to mitigate the most volatile tax people pay in this city which is property tax. I don't begrudge the fact people who have homes and businesses in the suburbs may see their property values dropping. With the elimination of Transit City you'll see those property taxes dropping even faster as mass transit moves out of those areas, and leaves those properties stranded. But what you're going to see is our inability in the future to mitigate the pressures that are coming to this city vis-a-vis the market value assessment driven property tax. You may not pay it on your birthday, but it is the biggest cheque you cut to the government, it is the most uncompromising cheque you cut to government, and it is the one cheque you cut to City Hall that we have the least amount of control over because of Provincial Legislation. These new taxes gave us a Billion Dollars worth of Revenue Streams and flexibility to manipulate and cushion the blows, and mitigate some of those impacts, and keep our businesses and seniors in particular, but others in very volatile situations in their homes. We're sacrificing that today, because we're making this decision the way we're making it, and that's a mistake.

My residents supported this tax, and I will not break the promise I made on the campaign trail twice.

The final thing I want to say, is the notion that has been raised with regards to this not being part of the budget item. I believe it should be part of a broader budget debate, and as I said I don't begrudge the Mayor the right and the opportunity to bring this forward now. But the truth of the matter is, is that we're not doing this fairly or equally across the board to everybody. And will restrict our ability to tax fairly in other categories later on. And that's a critical issue to me. It's not about how much we tax to me, but how we tax. And it's eliminating our ability without a full discussion.

TTC riders who don't drive have seen their annual tax to use their transit system go up by $123 a year. No one's talking about that. Seniors and children on the TTC have seen their rates go up by a higher percentage than adults. We don't talk about that here. It's been raised before, but that's the practice. We pander to focused voting groups. And in doing so, we create winners and losers in this city. And that may be good retail politics if you're trying to attain the Mayor's chair, but it creates concerns for me when you're trying to build a city which fires on all cylinders, if I may use an auto analogy.

There are others, all the seniors who don't drive, there are a lot of small business people who don't even live in the city and don't have to register their vehicles, in fact there were certain business fleets who were exempt from this tax. Why aren't they first on the Mayor's Priority list? How are we going to mitigate the pressures they're facing if we remove all these other revenue streams? If we can find a way to provide services, without interrupting the quality of those services, or removing those services from certain parts of the city and flat line the taxes, the Mayor will not only have my vote, he'll probably get my endorsement in the next mayoralty campaign. I just don't believe you can do it. The city manager told you, there is no structural surplus here. There is a structural deficit. Cuts are going to have to come from somewhere, and as we make those cuts, services will disappear, our ability to help other people facing difficult tax situations are leaving us today, and that's not right, it's not fair. This is about fairness, and this process is not being fair to too many people.

Wow, if that wasn't one of the most manipulative and mis-informative statements ever, I don't know what is..

Vaughan had a few key talking points in this statement (and I'm not talking about his rhetoric about the TTC riders that has nothing to do with this subject), and I've reviewed those statements below.

1. Adam Vaughan said that he ran on a platform of raising and creating new taxes. Unfortunately, Vaughan was clever enough to pull down his Election Campaign website, so I can't pull exactly what his platform was to display in this article. I can however pull a direct quote from his Ward 20 website where he talks about taxes: - Adam Vaughan - My Record
TAXES The new Land Transfer and Vehicle Registration taxes were passed in October 2007. I supported and fought for these new revenue tools because they allow us to redistribute the tax load currently assessed against property value, so that the city is not as dependent on property taxes alone. No longer will downtown residents be forced to face all of the tax increases while suburban homeowners see their taxes cut. The Land Transfer Tax, the Vehicle Registration Tax and the new garbage user fees take more than $400 million of pressure off the property tax system. While you can’t avoid paying some of these taxes, your share of the new taxes won’t be based on ever-increasing real estate values in the downtown. Instead, taxpayers across the city will be treated more fairly. This is a huge gain for all downtown residents, especially those who live in neighbourhoods like Seaton Village where long-time homeowners have seen their assessments rise dramatically. Small business tax rates have also been put on an accelerated pace to receive tax relief.
Is it just me, or is Vaughan's above statement the exact definition of Downtown vs. the rest of Toronto??  Or in his words, "pandering to focused voting groups". In fact, doesn't it seem like Vaughan is an advocate of the us versus them mentality in Toronto?  Either it's the gravy train running through different neighbourhoods now (other than his), or fighting for huge gains for the downtown residents over the suburbs...

Councillor Vaughan obviously just doesn't get it... And he has the guts to talk about fairness?...

2. Next, Vaughan said, "I didn't do it to increase taxes, I did it to diversify revenues."

Manipulative statement #1. 'I campaigned on raising taxes. ...not to increase taxes, but to diversify revenues'??? You see, it is this type of manipulative BS that got David Miller tossed in the trash, and is the key reason why the Left have been left powerless after the last election. YOU RAISED TAXES or YOU INCREASED TAXES!! WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT, TAXES WENT UP BECAUSE OF YOU!! Don't try and wrap up a piece of excrement, throw some sugar on it and tell us that it's a donut. Excrement is excrement, it doesn't matter what you call it when it comes our of your mouth, Councillor Vaughan.

3. "Why vehicle registration tax, which is never gonna be popular, but just might be fair".

"Just might be fair" eh, Councillor Vaughan? People might wonder exactly what "elitist" means when used to reference people like Councillor Vaughan in Toronto. People who make statements like this are elitist, and it has nothing to do with their level of intelligence, or their education, because clearly, Adam Vaughan is a moron.

Let's talk about "fairness".

Adam Vaughan cries about the trials and tribulations of those folks in his Ward who had property values that were at $8 Million, and then the property values skyrocketed to $23 Million.

Now, most normal human beings on this planet would consider an increase in your property value by almost 300% to be the greatest thing that could ever happen to a property owner. In fact, if you tell that to the millions of people around the globe who invest in properties for a living, they would be salivating at the mouth just thinking about it. Actually, pretty much any person on the planet who is interested in making money would be salivating at the possibility of tripling the value of their investment in such a short time.

But not delusional Councillor Adam Vaughan. You see, Vaughan is one of those people who lives in a magical fantasy land of unicorns and rainbows, where when you make money, that's apparently a bad thing (and we wonder how things went so terribly wrong when Vaughan and his buddy Mayor David Miller were running things).

But seriously, Vaughan's complaint is that those people who own these $8 Million properties that see their value skyrocket to $23 Million, now are facing higher property taxes resultant from that increase. You see, Vaughan just wants the benefit of the property value increase, and doesn't want to have to pay for that benefit. I mean, forget that this benefit has made them $15 Million dollars... No, let's conveniently forget about that. He's concerned about the tiny property tax associated with the benefit, which in comparison to the $15 Million profit is absolutely nothing.

So, instead of having his constituents pay a tiny penance for the huge financial windfall that they've received from the increased property value, he would rather have them not pay anything, and instead, have ALL TORONTONIANS cover that for his constituents. I mean, forget that the majority of Torontonians don't have that great luck of having their property values skyrocket, and forget that many Torontonians can't even afford to buy a house or condo. Yeah, forget them. Forget about those people who don't happen to be lucky enough to live in or own multi-million dollar properties, and instead are living in the slums, or are on minimum wage living in subsidized housing. Forget about them. Forget about the fact that they have one car and need it to get to work every day. But yeah, let's get them to pay additional taxes because the millionaires don't feel right having to pay for their financial windfall. Yeah, let's get them to pay the tax because they "choose" to own a car... Yeah, yet the millionaires who "choose" to own properties that have risen in value by millions of dollars and want to hold on to them instead of selling and collecting their windfall, they shouldn't have to pay for their lucky fortunes. Let's get the poor to cover it.

This is Adam Vaughan's flawed and help-the-rich-and-screw-the-poor logic that will never get him elected to anything more than a City Councillor, and really should have him shunned from any city-wide organization because of his inability to think in terms of the city, and not in terms of his own neighbourhood.

Again, Adam Vaughan is really good at talking and manipulating the public, but just carefully listen to what he's saying, and you can easily pick out all of manipulative rhetoric and call him on his BS.

People wonder why Rob Ford laughs whenever Adam Vaughan is going on about some crap... This is why. Ford knows exactly what Vaughan and his leftist elitist colleagues are all about. He knows they talk about helping people, but really they are only interested in protecting themselves, their elitist friends, and their symbolic pet projects (used simply to make them feel good about themselves). It doesn't matter what he says, his actions show exactly what he's all about.

That's why Toronto voted for Rob Ford, and tossed George Smitherman (Adam Vaughan's endorsed candidate for Mayor) in the trash. And I'm not surprised that Vaughan was completely on board with having a Mayor who blew away a Billion Dollars on eHealth, who is the sole reason for our skyrocketing Hydro rates, and who is yet another leftist elitist who has received a serious reality check.

One more point on fairness, and this is something that Gord Perks really stressed when making his statement before voting against repealing the PVT. Both Vaughan and Perks talk about how raising property taxes is not fair, while creating the Personal Vehicle Tax is fair.  And it's just something that really pisses off Torontonians when they hear their Councillors' spout this ignorant rhetoric. Let's explore this for a short second.

ALL Torontonians are impacted by Property Taxes, while only people who own cars are impacted by the Personal Vehicle Tax. Let's see, tax everybody, or only tax some people... Hmm... Which is fair? I wonder?.. Tax everybody, or only tax some people... Wow, this is so difficult to understand, right Vaughan and Perks?

These manipulative bike-riding leftist elitist scumbags really are in their own fantasy world and seriously need to brought back down to earth.

Their constituents apparently like their Councillors up in the clouds, so I guess it's going to fall to Rob Ford to put them in their place. Thank goodness it's Rob Ford and not David Miller... That's how you end up with structural deficits, and constantly rising property taxes, and continuously new user fees and premiums, all the while having reductions in services.

Lastly, before I end this Adam Vaughan love fest, I thought it fitting to display Councillor Vaughan's Council Voting record here for your review. It's not ALL of his votes, but some of the more interesting ones.

Take a look at his record (taken from - Council Votes), and see if you feel that he firstly lives up to what he talks about, and second, if he really is looking out for the best interests of his Ward 20 constituents, and for Torontonians overall.

After going through that horrifying record, it should be clear why Rob Ford says that we have a Spending Problem, not a Revenue Problem. Councillor Vaughan advocates for increased taxes claiming that the city needs it, but when it comes to reckless spending on stupidity like $360 Million to tare down a portion of the Gardiner, millions for redevelopment of the Mayor's office and Nathan Philip Square, keeping his Councillor perks (like free city-wide parking, free TTC passes, free zoo passes and parking, free CNE passes and parking and free Toronto Blue Jays tickets), covering hundreds of thousands of dollars in Councillors' legal fees, and continuing to give out Councillor raises, Vaughan doesn't vote to save Toronto money, he always votes in favour of spending.

If anyone is in denial about Toronto Council's spending problem, it is Councillor Adam Vaughan. The #1 enemy to the Toronto Taxpayer, and the poster boy for Toronto's Leftist Elitist movement, Councillor Vaughan needs a serious reality check.

Don't worry, if anyone can do it (and is dying to do so), it's Mayor Rob Ford!


(Image: by Joshua Sherurcij on Wikipedia


aliengoo said...

Love your site since I stumbled on it during the Ford mayoral campaign! Having canvassed for the campaign,and randomly spoke with residents while in areas as diverse as Bridlepath to Jane/Finch,I sensed the desire for change. Councillors like Vaughn somehow renew their term,maybe we ought to have districts where those constituents can pay for what they wish for:)The mayoral vote results for 2010's a great start to establish various tax rates. Pay for what you use. Why should someone who doesn't live on a subway line pay for it?Same token,road tolls should exist to cover the wear,and tear from non 416 traffic during rush hour. Versus penalizing 416 car owners,get more money from tolls.I live on a subway line,and don't use it.Gravy train's got a new route,to benefit the whole City of Toronto!

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