TORONTO – The city’s executive committee has rejected a proposal to put a tighter leash on lobbyists at City Hall.
The idea was to prevent councillors and the mayor from communicating with lobbyists outside the Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. time-frame.
The executive committee voted to defer the report indefinitely.
Also, the committee deferred exploring term limits for councillors and the mayor.
Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon put forward a motion about studying term limits for city councillors and the mayor. She wanted the city to look at elected terms in other North American municipalities and to launch a public consultation process.
A cap on the land-transfer tax was also discussed at the Wednesday’s executive committee meeting.
Mayor Rob Ford has a plan to phase it out.
He wants city staff to look at cutting the tax by 10 per cent a year for 10 years.
That would cut revenue by $30-million a year, but Ford thinks savings can be found elsewhere.
“The budget chief and the city manager are going to have to start rolling up their quarters. We’re going to have to find the efficiencies down here. People are sick of it,” For said.
Staff will also look at phasing out the tax by 25 per cent over four years.
The tax came into effect in 2008 raises about $350-million a year, which the city dedicates to general revenue.
While those involved in the real estate market would like to see the tax scrapped completely, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong’s put forth a motion to cap it. He argues a cap would “recognize the need for predictable and stable revenue.”
“It would eliminate the need for the City to find financial offsets through reductions in important city programs and services. It would also prove to be less of a burden to purchasers and sellers of real estate and the Toronto real estate market over time.”
Budget chief Frank DiGiorgio said last month that he would consider cutting the tax.
City council holds its monthly meeting on Thursday.