The City of Toronto’s Budget Committee today began the process to review the Preliminary Tax Supported Operating and Capital Budgets for 2018. The budgets will be reviewed and debated by Budget and Executive Committees before being finalized and approved by City Council at its meeting on February 12 and 13, 2018.
The 2018 Preliminary Tax Supported Operating Budget is $10.97 billion and focuses on finding sustainable savings across City divisions and agencies while providing high quality and affordable services that respond to the needs of the city’s communities. The budget includes $14.7 million in new and enhanced services which will support capital project delivery and improve service delivery.
“Toronto’s 2018 budget makes important investments in our city – in transit and transportation to keep our city moving, in housing and anti-poverty measures to make sure no one is left behind and in infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing and aging city,” said Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the City’s Budget Committee. “We’re continuing to manage the budget in a fiscally responsible way that ensures we can make these necessary investments while keeping property tax increases to the rate of inflation.”
The budget proposes an overall tax increase of 1.47 per cent after assessment growth with a 2.1 per cent increase for residential properties, 1 per cent increase for commercial properties and 0.70 per cent for industrial properties in support of Council’s tax policy to enhance the City’s business climate. There will be no increase for multi-residential/apartment buildings as per provincial legislation and no TTC fare increase.
“The 2018 preliminary budget is consistent with Council direction and maintains service levels across the city,” said City Manager Peter Wallace. “The majority of programs and agencies were able to find sustainable savings and delivered budgets with a zero per cent increase over the net 2017 budget.”
In addition to ongoing expense management, a number of balancing strategies have been applied to eliminate the budget pressure. This includes additional revenue from the Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT) which is budgeted to raise $808 million dollars in 2018, the uploading of social services and court security costs to the provincial government, TTC ridership growth, assessment growth and revenue from a potential new hotel and lodging tax.
The 2018-2027 Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan is $25.7 billion, of which 52 per cent is allocated to maintaining and investing in the City’s state of good repair. The capital budget and plan continues to fund the City’s two largest transit investments – SmartTrack and the Scarborough Subway Extension.
“Toronto has benefited from the new share of the provincial gas tax which is estimated to bring in up to $170 million a year when fully phased in,” said Acting Chief Financial Officer Joe Farag. “This new funding has freed up additional debt capacity and will allow the City to address some critical state of good repair and high-needs social infrastructure.”
The 10-year plan proposes $1.1 billion in additional capital spending for the George Street revitalization, legislated accessibility measures and funding to begin transformation projects that support city building such as studies for Rail Deck Park, future uses for Old City Hall and relocation of the Etobicoke Civic Centre.
“The launch of the 2018 budget is the first step in the City’s budget review process,” said Josie La Vita, Executive Director of Financial Planning. “Residents should get involved in the process as the budget is discussed and debated.”
Members of the public can share their views with the Budget Committee at the public presentations which are scheduled to take place on January 8, 9 and 10. More information about how to make a public deputation is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis.
More information about the City’s budget and the budget process is available at http://www.toronto.ca/budget2018.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto is honouring Canada’s 150th birthday with “TO Canada with Love,” a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.