You are currently viewing ‘Rain tax’ in Canada? Toronto plan angers residents

‘Rain tax’ in Canada? Toronto plan angers residents

2024-03-27 07:58:42

Every day, citizens pay taxes on various things they buy and use. These taxes form the backbone of our communities, funding the government for important services like the police, hospitals and schools. But have you ever heard of a ‘rain tax’?

One might have heard of the goods and services tax and income tax, but a city in Canada now plans to charge what is being dubbed the ‘rain tax’.

Toronto is considering a new type of tax aimed at addressing stormwater management issues. Toronto’s municipal government is considering the introduction of a ‘rain tax’ and it is set to be implemented in April, according to the Toronto government’s official website.

The ‘rain tax’ plan has angered Toronto residents.


In a bid to tackle stormwater management, the authorities are engaging with water users and interested parties through a “Stormwater Charge & Water Service Charge Consultation” dubbed the ‘rain tax’.

“The City of Toronto is consulting with water users and interested parties on the possible implementation of a stormwater charge, stormwater charge credits, and a water service charge. These potential charges would impact the rate that customers pay for their water,” Toronto City’s official website stated.

The government plans to implement a ‘stormwater charge’ across all property classes.

Moreover, they aim to establish a programme offering stormwater charge credits for larger properties, alongside administrative water charges (referred to as a “water service charge” in this consultation).

The stormwater charge aims to address the run-off issue caused by rain and melted snow, which, when not absorbed into the ground, can overwhelm the city’s sewer system, leading to flooding and water-quality issues.

“Stormwater is rain and melted snow. When not absorbed into the ground, stormwater runs off hard surfaces, onto streets, down storm drains, and through a network of pipes that carry it into local waterways. In urbanised areas like Toronto, there are a lot of hard surfaces. When severe storms happen, more stormwater runs off hard surfaces and enters the City’s sewer system,” stated the Toronto City website.

“Too much stormwater can overwhelm the city’s sewer system, which can lead to flooded basements and impacts on surface water quality in Toronto’s rivers, streams, and Lake Ontario’s waterfront,” the website added.

Residents of Toronto already pay water rates as part of their utility bills, which cover stormwater management expenditures.

The proposed stormwater charge would specifically target properties based on their impact on stormwater runoff into Toronto’s storm sewer system.

This impact would be measured by the amount of hard surface area on the property, including roofs, asphalt driveways, parking lots, and concrete landscaping.


The ‘rain tax’ plan has angered residents of the Canadian city, who are protesting online.

One user expressed frustration on X, stating, “Storm sewers were built to manage rain runoff to avoid flooding. Tax dollars build the storm sewers for this purpose? Taxing rain falling into a storm sewer paid for with taxes is on par with the insanity of charging GST on Carbon Tax.”

Another user echoed this sentiment, expressing, “Canadians: ‘These taxes can’t get any more ridiculous. Toronto politicians: Hold my beer. We can tax rainwater on your property.'”

Amid the housing crisis in Canada, one user questioned the priorities, stating, “While people can’t find a home to live, what is the city of Toronto doing about it? A rain tax.”

Another critique came directed at Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, with a user highlighting, “Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow is proposing a rain tax. She wants to tax the amount of water from the sky that hits your property. Charging you for the runoff into the sewer system. If the BC NDP brought this in, I would be bankrupt in days. #Ontario.”

Adding to the backlash, another user expressed frustration, stating, “Because people in #Toronto aren’t already struggling enough to make ends meet, the NDP’s @OliviaChow wants to implement: A rain tax. Seriously, they want to tax the rain.”

Toronto might go ahead and implement the ‘rain tax’ even as critical reactions pour in from residents.

Published By:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published On:

Mar 27, 2024

Rain tax Canada, Rain water tax Canada, Toronto rain tax, Canada olivia chow, Canada stormwater regulations, Ontario stormwater regulation, stormwater charge toronto, Stormwater charge Canada

Source link