01/11/2012 11:57 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Board of Trade calls for higher taxes, TTC fares

Toronto’s Board of Trade believes City Hall should raise 2012 property taxes and public transit fares more than the increases already planned.

The board has sent a letter to city councillors urging them to consider hiking property taxes by three per cent in 2012, which slightly exceeds the 2.5 per cent increase that is planned.

Board members also believe TTC fares should be increased by 15 cents, a nickel more than the 10-cent fare hike that has been approved.

The board projects that those two measures could put $26 million into the city’s hands.

Carol Wilding, the board’s president and CEO, said the city is on the right track with respect to reining in its expenditures, but it still has a revenue problem.

“This zero-sum budgeting — expenditure has to equal revenue, revenue must be sustainable — we absolutely support and respect,” Wilding told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Wednesday.

The additional funds could help support transit and the Community Partnership and Investment Program, both of which are facing possible cuts.

Wilding said improving transit should be a priority for the city.

“We need more, not less, to make our city livable and, importantly, to make our city economically competitive,” Wilding said.