Today, City Council approved a 2021 tax-supported operating budget of $12.13 billion and a 10-year tax-supported capital budget and plan of $29.1 billion. The budget preserves existing services within public health guidelines while managing the impacts of COVID-19 and continues to invest in key capital projects to build a more equitable and prosperous Toronto for all residents.
The 2021 tax-supported operating budget focuses on keeping property taxes affordable, preserving service levels and managing COVID-19 recovery and rebuild. The budget includes $66 million in new investments to support building a prosperous Toronto and delivering on key commitments, such as road safety, mobility, modernization, culture, and equity and reconciliation. When combined with the $1.89 billion rate-supported operating budget approved by City Council on December 16, 2020, the total 2021 operating budget is $14.02 billion.
The City continues to experience significant financial impacts, in the form of both added costs and revenue losses, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The operating budget includes $1.6 billion in funding through continued partnerships with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to address the impacts of COVID-19, of which $947 million is currently secured. City-led mitigation strategies totalling $573 million in savings and offsets are also included.
Council overwhelmingly voted to approve an overall average property tax increase of 0.51 per cent, with a 0.70 per cent increase for residential properties, a 0.35 per cent increase for commercial properties and a 0.23 per cent increase for industrial properties. There is no increase for multi-residential or apartment buildings, as per provincial legislation. Including the 1.5 per cent City Building levy for dedicated transit and housing infrastructure funding, the average Toronto household will pay an additional $69 on their municipal property tax bill in 2021.
During Thursday’s final debate, Council voted to approve:
Council reaffirmed the need for the Government of Ontario to join the City and the Government of Canada in supportive housing investments. The City Manager will be reporting back on this issue in the coming months.
Councillors also endorsed $8 million in additional investments proposed by Mayor John Tory for targeted investments in youth jobs, mental health supports, low-income Internet access and main street businesses that are all focused on areas hit hardest by COVID-19.
The tax-supported 10-year capital plan includes funding for key areas such as mobility, housing, modernization and the environment. This capital budget continues work on Council-approved investments, including significant contributions to address state-of-good-repair needs within the TTC and Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). With the additional $15.65 billion rate-supported capital budget approved by City Council on December 16, 2020, the total 10-year capital plan is $44.70 billion.
Residents are encouraged to learn more about the impact of their property tax investment by viewing the reports and presentations available at toronto.ca/budget.
“This is a responsible budget that does the right thing during these tough times – it preserves and protects City services people rely on every day and invests more in key areas where the impact of COVID-19 has been greatest. We are making investments exactly where it makes sense in our fight against the pandemic – this budget puts millions of dollars more into Toronto Public Health, pandemic-related funding for shelters, Toronto Community Housing, and seniors and long-term care. In finalizing this budget today, City Council has confirmed our consistent strong message that we need the continued support of the provincial and federal governments in our fight against COVID-19. I will be working non-stop, just as I did with considerable success in 2020, to secure federal and provincial support.”
– Mayor John Tory
“I want to thank residents for their feedback throughout the budget process. The final budget is responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic and takes into account the City’s ongoing financial challenges. The budget focuses on preserving services and keeping much-needed capital projects on track, while keeping property taxes affordable.”
– Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough-Southwest), Budget Committee Chair
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.