Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

September 25, 2010 10:00 ET

Retransmission: Smitherman's Floundering Campaign Risks Ford Mayoralty

Toronto Mayoral Candidate Rocco Rossi Calls Proposed Handout "Reckless and Irresponsible"

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2010) - Mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi slammed rival George Smitherman's 'back-of-the-napkin' $11 million proposal today to give some Toronto landlords a two per cent break on their property taxes – in the hopes they will pass along the savings to select tenants -- as "reckless, irresponsible, and ill-planned."

"The landlords who pay property tax and receive the tax break will be under no obligation to pass the savings along to tenants," said Rossi. "It's a desperation play from a candidate who will say and do anything for a boost in the polls."

Smitherman's plan would not apply to all tenants but only to those who pay more than $1,000 in rent per month.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Rental Market Report of Spring 2010, the average rent in a Toronto bachelor-apartment is $802 per month and the average rent in a Toronto one-bedroom-apartment is $943 per month, thus disqualifying them from receiving support under Smitherman's plan.

"Mr. Smitherman's ill conceived plan leaves the most vulnerable tenants behind," said Rossi. "Seniors and tenants in rent-geared-to-income units won't qualify. This plan is for wealthy, downtowners living in multi-unit highrise buildings. It creates two-tiers of tenants."

Rossi noted that Smitherman has no plan to pay for his $5 billion transit proposal or to replace the hundreds of millions of dollars the City will lose under his property tax freeze and today's landlord kickback scheme.

"As if the City's finances aren't bad enough, the father of the provincial $1 billion e-Health scandal is planning on bringing his one-man path of fiscal irresponsibility to City Hall. That is the last thing Torontonians need" said Rossi.

In spite of a string of dubious promises, Mr. Smitherman has been unable to revive his fading campaign.

Rocco Rossi noted no Toronto mayoral frontrunner who lost their lead in the polls in the manner Smitherman has, has ever come back to win.

"The George Smitherman-led Barbara Hall campaign in 2003 left Toronto with a tax-and-spend mayor, and now George Smitherman's steady plummet in the polls risks handing victory to an angry Councillor Rob Ford who has no plan for our great city." said Rossi.

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