The City of Toronto 2023 Budget process is largely similar to previous budget cycles.
While the province’s Bill 3 amends the City of Toronto Act to provide for the Mayor to present the City’s annual budget to City Council, Mayor John Tory has approved a budget process that will remain largely the same and will continue to provide opportunity for input from the public and City Council. The Mayor and Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Budget Committee, support the continuation of the City’s open, collaborative and participatory budget process, and will continue to follow a process that includes public consultation, input from the Budget committee, and public reviews of divisions’ and agencies’ budgets.
While legislation that guides municipal budgeting processes has been changed by the province, the adoption of revenue sources, including the tax levy, user fees and direct taxes remains within Council authority. Council also retains authority on any matters in which the Mayor declares an interest, in writing, in advance to the City Clerk.
Due to the 2022 municipal election, the City’s 2023 rate and tax-supported operating and capital budgets will be considered together. Toronto Water and Solid Waste Management Services interim rates and fees were approved by Council at its December 2022 meeting and will be in effect Sunday, January 1. In addition to this, as was passed by Council on December 15, 2022, should the Government of Canada fail to honour its election commitment and come to the table with the provincial government to support Toronto with its COVID-19 pandemic-related budget shortfall, the impact on Torontonians will be clearly outlined during the 2023 budget process.
For the 2023 budget process, the Budget Committee will launch the budget process with a presentation from the City Manager and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, review service area and selected agency presentations, hear presentations from the public and provide advice to inform the budget, as has been the process in previous years.
As is legislatively required by provincial Bill 3, the Mayor will propose a budget to the City Clerk and Members of Council by Wednesday, February 1. Before the Mayor’s budget is presented, this budget will go through the same processes of public and committee consultation as has been done in previous years, as directed by Mayor Tory and Councillor Crawford. Council will then consider the Mayor’s budget, along with budget-related items within Council authority at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 14.
Toronto residents and business are encouraged to participate in the 2023 Budget process. Comments and feedback may be provided to Budget Committee in person, online or in writing, and to Members of Council in writing.
This year, for the first time since the 2020 budget process and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Budget Committee will hear from Toronto residents and businesses in person as well as by video conference. Meetings will be held:
Speakers are asked to register by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 416-392-4666 by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, January 16. Individuals may only make one presentation. Registered public speakers will be provided with instructions on how to appear at the Committee meeting. The meeting will be streamed live on the Toronto City Council YouTube channel.
Written comments can be submitted to the Budget Committee by email: email@example.com or by mail: Attention Budget Committee, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., 10th floor, West Tower, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2.
Comments can also be provided to Members of Council in writing. Contact information is available from 311 or 416-338-0TTY (0889) or on the City’s Members of Council webpage.
The 2023 Budget process timelines are as follows:
Council has the power to amend the budget that the Mayor presents. The Mayor may then veto such amendments. The veto can be overturned by a two-thirds vote of Members of Council (16 votes).
Regulations released in relation to Bill 3 prescribe the new process for the annual budget:
Veto and Budget process scenarios are described visually on page two of Attachment six of the CC2.3 Legislative Changes to City Governance – Bill 3 and Bill 39 report to Council.
More information is available on the City’s 2023 Budget webpages.
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