T.O. City Hall discusses putting bottled water tax
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2007 3:46PM EST
It could cost more to buy a bottle of water in Toronto, if a city councillor has his way.
Coun. Bill Saundercook has suggested using the city's new taxing powers to add a levy on bottled water. This would not only help the city with their bottom line but would also encourage residents to drink tap water and keep bottles out of our landfills.
The new tax would add five cents to water bottled in Ontario and ten cents to water bottled outside of the province.
Saundercook said it would help the city pay the costs of recycling the bottles.
"The blue box has a lot of costs associated to it," he told CTV.ca "Aluminum is the most viable commodity in there but a lot of the other items don't pay their way."
The idea did not sit well with some Torontonians.
"I wouldn't drink tap water, I just don't trust what's coming out of our taps," said one woman speaking to CTV Toronto.
Saundercook said he feels more comfortable drinking Toronto's tap water because he knows the tests its been through.
"I don't know what tests have been done on bottled water. Where's our assurance on the quality of that water?" he asked.
He said for the times when Toronto's tap water is less safe to drink, the city will come up with a plan.
"Obviously I can't guarantee there won't be a breakdown in the infrastructure but the city is going to have to respond to that as quickly as possible."
The idea came after the city of Chicago approved a five-cent tax on bottled water in their 2008 budget.
Mayor David Miller's office told CTV Toronto the idea isn't a practical one. City staff has already ruled against a similar proposal to tax alcohol and cigarettes because it was too expensive to administer.
However, he is bringing the matter to the executive committee for discussion on Monday.
"He committed to bringing it forward to the executive committee, that's it," Saundercook said. "If he can't support it, that's fine."
Saundercook said they've managed to make it work in Chicago and Toronto should look into what that city did as an example.
With a report from CTV's Naomi Parness