Toronto’s “Vehicle Registration Tax” Finished January 1, 2011

Update:

The Executive Committee of the City of Toronto met today and voted unanimously to eliminate Toronto’s $60 Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) on January 1, 2011. This decision should be confirmed when City Council meets on December 16, 2010 to vote on this motion.

The City of Toronto’s City Council voted in favour of implementing this new tax (VRT) on October 22, 2007 and it affected all motorists with a Toronto (which, since 1997, included Scarborough, North York, East York, York & Etobicoke) address:

Council approved the Personal Vehicle Tax at the following flat rates for each vehicle licence plate renewal:

  • $60 per personal vehicle (passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles for personal use) per year
  • $30 per personal motorcycle (motorcycle and limited speed motorcycle) or moped per year

*Double these amounts when two-year licence plate validation renewals are purchased.

On April 28, 2008, Council adopted Executive Committee report EX 22.16, the “Personal Vehicle Tax- Administrative Design Features and Implementation Authorities”, and set the effective date for the tax at September 1, 2008.

The tax is designed to be compatible with the Provincial vehicle permitting system. The Province collects the PVT on the City’s behalf when payment is made for a licence plate renewal.

When the VRT is eliminated January 1, 2010, those drivers who had already paid for two (2) year plate renewals will receive a refund for the amount paid for next year. If your birthday fell in December, you will have to pay for the 2010 tax, even if you attempt to renew your plate sticket next year in January.

City Council voted to introduce this tax (under New Taxation Measures – City of Toronto Act, 2006) on every Torontonian in 2007 due to a shortage of revenue in the City coffers.  It was implemented on September 1, 2008 and Torontonians have hated it ever since; some Torontonians even registered their address outside of Toronto to avoid having to pay the tax.

When this tax was implemented, the City believed that in the last four (4) months of 2008 (Sept. 1 – Dec. 31/08) it would generate approximately $20 million dollars.  As it turned out, when the tax was implemented, motorists began contacting the Ministry of Transportation and began providing change of residential addresses for their driver’s licences, outside of Toronto, to avoid the $60.00 tax. Instead of collecting the $20 million dollars they expected, the City only collected $13.5 million dollars or $6.5 million dollars less than expected. This meant there were about 167,000 registered vehicle owners who had figured out a way not to pay.

The City estimates that the elimination of the VRT next year will cost the City about 64 million dollars. The Mayor has also made a commitment to freeze property taxes and by freezing the taxes and eliminating the VRT, the City will lose about $50 million dollars in annual revenue.  The City may hike up the water rates by 9% and the garbage fees by 4% in 2011, but at least the VRT will no longer be an additional cost to Torontonians.

1. What is the City of Toronto Personal Vehicle Tax?

It’s a new tax introduced by the City of Toronto. The province of Ontario acts as an agent to collect the tax on behalf of the city.  Toronto residents who own passenger vehicles, personal use light commercial vehicles, motorcycles, or mopeds are required to pay the tax upon renewal of their plate validation.

For more information visit the City of Toronto’s website.

Background:

The Vehicle Registration Tax

Toronto City Council decided to implement another tax, this time on drivers. On top of all the other expenses Torontonians incur, they will now be expected to pay an extra $60 a year to register their cars.

Those that voted in favour: 25 Those that were opposed: 20

For more information, read the report presented to Toronto City Council

Meanwhile, City of Toronto residents who have a motor vehicle registered to an address within the City, must ensure they legally comply with the Ministry of Transportation vehicle plate/sticker licencing requirements.

Update: After four hours of debate on Thursday, December 16, 2010, City Councillors voted 39-6 to repeal the unpopular vehicle tax as of January 1, 2011.

The City of Toronto provides Questions and Answers to Torontonians about the effect of the repeal of the Personal Vehicle Tax (PVT) on December 16, 2010 that goes into effect on January 1, 2011.

What will change:

  • As of January 1, 2011, all vehicle/motorcycle owners that live in Toronto will no longer have to pay the Personal Vehicle Tax (the “PVT”) of $60 for a vehicle and $30 for a motorcycle.
  • All residents that have a motor vehicle or a motorcycle who live in the City of Toronto who are required to renew their licence sticker prior to January 31, 2010 will still be required to pay the full PVT. For example, if your birthday falls on December 31, 2010, you will still be required to pay the full PVT (ie-$60.00 for a motor vehicle and $30.00 for a motorcycle).
  • Vehicle owners who purchased a two-year renewal prior to December 31, 2010 will receive a full $60/$30 refund for the 2011 year. If you purchased a two-year in 2009 and your birthday falls before January 1, 2011 you will not qualify for a refund.
  • Vehicle owners eligible for a refund of PVT do not have to apply. Those who qualify will automatically be refunded via cheque, which will be mailed to their home address. Refunds will be mailed by the City of Toronto by April, 2011.
  • You can call 311 if you have any questions relating to the cancellation or refund of the Personal Vehicle Tax (PVT).

    Update: December 19, 2010 – Car tax dings drivers with late-year birthdays

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    12 comments

    1. What’s up to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web site, and your views are nice for new visitors.

    2. Hi,
      I took my car off the road in July of 2010.
      On March 3rd 2011 I decided to put it back on the road again and was charged the $60.00 PVT WHY ?
      Was this this tax not finished as of January 1st 2011. They said that it was applicable to me because my birthday was in December 2010. This is absurd…I am putting my car back on the road in March 2011 at which time this tax is no longer in effect. HELP !

    3. Hi Geoff:

      This is the information found on the City’s website: http://www.toronto.ca/finance/pdf/pvt_qa_7jan2011.pd as well as http://fightyourtickets.ca/torontos-vehicle-registration-tax/

      2. Who qualifies for a PVT refund?
      a) If you renewed your vehicle plate in 2010 and your birthday falls on or after January 1, 2011 you will qualify for the refund.

      b) If you were due to renew your vehicle plate on or before December 31, 2010 and are purchasing a two-year renewal, the collection system will apply the tax for both years and the City will automatically issue a PVT refund for the second year (the year starting on or after January 1, 2011).

      c) If you purchased a two-year renewal in 2009 you will not qualify for a refund.

      3. How do I apply for a PVT refund?
      There is no need to apply for PVT refunds. The City of Toronto will automatically process and mail your refund to your home address.

      4. When will I receive a refund?
      You will receive a refund April 2011.

      Remember to always http://fightyourtickets.ca

    4. I have 2 vehicles in my name. I renewed my one car for 2 years in June of 2009, thus taking me to June 2011. And my another car was renewed in June 2010 for 2 years, thus taking me to 2012. How much should I expect to receive back as a refund for the PVT? Also, is it issued to me as a cheque mailed to my current address or is this something I have to apply for? If I am to expect a refund cheque, when should I expect to receive it? And if I am to apply for it, how do I go about doing that? If applying, please provide me with full details. Thanking you in advance.

    5. Hi Vimal:

      If there is going to be a rebate of this type, there shouldn’t be winners and losers based on your date of birth; everyone should be a winner and enjoy the same level of rebate, without exception. It should be equal for everyone across the board.

      Rob Ford, the recently elected Mayor or Toronto, wanted to implement the repeal of this Personal Vehicle Tax in Toronto, as soon as possible. What “as soon as possible” meant, was January 1, 2011, as the Province of Ontario had to also get on board to make this happen. Realistically, the earliest this tax could have been repealed, was January 1, 2011.

      The Province of Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne was appointed Minister of Transportation in 2010 and told Rob Ford that she would approve the repeal of this law (Personal Vehicle Tax) as early as January, 2011.

      Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan, who voted against killing the car tax, said stopping the fee as of Jan. 1 is unfair.

      He voted to retroactively refund it to September 2010, but that motion was not supported by Rob Ford or his supporters and as a result, Adam Vaughan’s motion was unsuccessful.

      If Vaughan’s motion to make the refund retroactive to September, 2010 had been supported, everyone would receive the same refund.

      Remember to always http://fightyourtickets.ca

    6. I am also very disappointed that my birthday is in end of December being penalised by paying 3 times for this tax (This is not fair based on birthday). The refund should be applied to all as we are all taxpayers. Why did city council decide to do it this way? Could you please respond.

    7. You can get around paying the tax if you temporarily change your address to one outside of Toronto…For example have your new license sent to a work address or friend/relative in Mississauga/Vaughan etc.

      Alternatively if you trade in your existing plates for new ones, it will cost you $20 instead of $60 or $120 as the fee never applied to new plates, only renewals.

    8. Hi Shreekant:
      Mayor Ford has already suggested that he wants to pass a budget that does not involve any property tax increases in the first year.

      He may have eliminated the Personal Vehicle Tax ($60 for a vehicle and $30 for a motorcycle), however, most other services are increasing in 2011, including garbage, water, etc.

      The City of Toronto is already proposing raising the rate for false alarms, for the second time, for vehicle incidents and non-emergency elevator responses from $350 to $410 per hour. The City hopes to raise approximately 2 million more in revenue each year from this increase. See: http://fightyourtickets.ca/false-alarms/

      As the City budget is being put together, we will hear of other increases in the future – including the TTC.

      Remember to always http://fightyourtickets.ca

    9. Good step coming at a time when really needed. Well done by new mayor.
      When will property taxes be frozen?

    10. Hi Brian:

      If there is going to be a rebate of this type, there shouldn’t be winners and losers based on your date of birth; everyone should be a winner and enjoy the same level of rebate, without exception.

      Rob Ford, the recently elected Mayor or Toronto, wanted to implement the repeal of this Personal Vehicle Tax in Toronto, as soon as possible.

      The Province of Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne was appointed Minister of Transportation in 2010 and told Rob Ford that she would approve the repeal of this law (Personal Vehicle Tax) as early as January, 2011.

      Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan, who voted against killing the car tax, said stopping the fee as of Jan. 1 is unfair.

      He voted to retroactively refund it to September 2010, but that motion was not supported by Rob Ford or his supporters and as a result, Adam Vaughan’s motion was unsuccessful.

      If Vaughan’s motion to make the refund retroactive to September, 2010 had been supported, everyone would receive the same refund.

      Remember to always http://fightyourtickets.ca

    11. Good morning,
      I am very disappointed that that those people whose birthdays fall in September, October, November and December are being penalised by paying 3 times for this tax. The refund should be applied to all as we are all taxpayers. Why did city council decide to do it this way? Could you please respond.

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