TORONTO – As Election Day nears, CTV News Toronto is taking a deeper look into the issues that matter most to local voters, breaking down the party promises as they apply to Battleground: GTA.

The Issue

The gurgle of the milk frother punctuates the coffee shop chatter, and the tables for two lining the exposed brick begin to fill up as the clock hits the weekday lunch hour.

It’s noon at Lazy Daisy's Cafe in Little India, and after eight years in business, owner Dawn Chapman, who also lives locally, knows the area well.

“It’s an evolving neighbourhood,” she tells CTV News Toronto. “A mixed-income neighbourhood.”

Dawn Chapman

A stack of already-read newspapers catches coffee drips next to the cutlery, headlines of political promises peeking out beneath the plates.

“Affordability is always an issue in any election,” Chapman says. “It’s an expensive city to live in.”

And when it comes to the federal campaign, she’s got a strong stance on all the tax talk.

“Don’t tell me you’re going to charge the middle- and lower-classes any more tax,” she says. “I think everyone’s at their max right now.”

The Background

“I always actually get a little annoyed when politicians focus too much on tax cuts,” east-end filmmaker and father-of-three Chris MacBride tells CTV News Toronto, calling the political pledges a short-sighted gimmick.

Chris MacBride

But he may be in the minority; other voters are far more engaged by the parties’ stances when it comes to their personal pocketbooks—especially when it could impact them at tax time.

“It would help more people if it was an across-the-board cut,” retired law office assistant Cher MacLeod says, mug in hand.

She’s attended her riding’s all-candidates debate and followed the campaigns closely; tax changes, she says, could make a difference when it comes to family finances.

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The Liberal Promise

Leader Justin Trudeau has declared a tax cut for the middle class. His first priority, promising to raise the basic personal deduction over four years so the first $15,000 of money earned is tax-free for Canadians earning $147,667 a year or less. The current basic personal amount—the income on which federal taxpayers are not taxed—is $12,069. The move would save the average individual $292 a year and the average family $585 a year, according to the party.

Justin Trudeau

“Far too many Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque,” Trudeau said Sept 22.

The plan would cost $2.9 billion in the first year, rising to $5.6 billion by 2023-24.

The Liberals would also increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour and introduce a 10 per cent tax on luxury vehicles, boats and aircraft.

In addition, Trudeau has pledged to boost old age security by an extra 10 per cent once a senior turns 75, beginning in July 2020, and increase the Canada Pension Plan survivor benefit by 25 per cent.

The Conservative Promise

The Conservatives are touting a universal tax cut that would apply to the lowest federal income bracket. By reducing the rate on taxable income less than $47,630 to 13.75 per cent from 15 per cent, the party estimates it would save an individual $444 per year or $850 per year for a double-income couple.

Andrew Scheer

“Every Canadian taxpayer will see their income taxes go down. And those in the lowest tax bracket will see the biggest proportional tax cut of all,” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Sept. 15.

The broad-based cut would cost about $6 billion annually once fully phased in.

The NDP Promise

The New Democrats would implement a “wealth tax” on the super-rich, putting a one per cent tax on fortunes of more than $20 million.

The party says the tax would apply to one-tenth of one per cent of Canadians households.

Jagmeet Singh

“We’re asking them to pay a little bit more,” leader Jagmeet Singh explained Oct. 14. “We’re going to make sure they pay their fair share.”

The wealth tax would generate $5.6 billion in revenue in the first year, and $6.8 billion annually by 2023-24, according to the party.

Singh would also raise the top income tax bracket rate, for those earning more than $210,000, to 35 per cent from 33 per cent.

In addition the NDP would raise the inclusion rate for capital gains taxes to 75 per cent from 50 per cent, and implement a 12-per-cent tax on luxury vehicles, boats and aircraft.