Today, the City of Toronto’s rate and tax-supported 2023 operating and capital budgets were tabled at Budget Committee for consideration, review and recommendation. The proposed budgets protect frontline services in the face of a challenging financial year and make much-needed investments in housing, transit, emergency services and public safety while managing affordability by keeping property tax and user fee increases below the rate of inflation.
As is required by new provincial legislation, Mayor John Tory will present the budgets by Wednesday, February 1 for consideration by City Council at a special meeting on Tuesday, February 14.
Toronto residents and businesses 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. More information is provided below and on the City’s 2023 Budget webpage.
The tabled 2023 operating budget of $16.16 billion includes the $2.04 billion rate-supported operating budgets for Solid Waste Management Services, Toronto Parking Authority and Toronto Water.
The tabled 2023 operating budget expects $1.08 billion in necessary funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to address the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic ($933 million), refugee shelter response ($97 million) and supportive housing ($48 million). When combined with the 2022 pandemic-related shortfall of $484 million, the necessary funding from other orders of government required is a total of $1.56 billion.
In addition to these existing funding requirements are pressures of rising fuel costs, inflationary impacts on food costs and debt-servicing costs. The total financial pressures of rising fuel costs – which impact the full fleet of City vehicles from TTC buses to ambulances and fire trucks – comes to $46 million. The effect of inflation on food costs for City-run long-term care facilities will cost an additional $3 million – a 31 per cent increase over last year. And finally, the total additional pressure for increased debt servicing charges as a result of rising interest rates and additional capital investments comes to $65 million.
For the fourth consecutive year, the City has implemented a range of spending restraints and measures to offset the ongoing financial impact of the pandemic and recent global economic volatility. City-led mitigation strategies will result in significant offsets of $786 million in 2023 for a total of $2.5 billion since the start of the pandemic.
To meet these significant budget pressures, the tabled budget proposes a property tax increase of 5.5 per cent – below the rate of inflation – for residential properties. The increase amounts to an additional $183 for the average assessed value of a Toronto home; 2.75 per cent for multi-residential properties, 2.75 per cent for commercial properties and 5.5 per cent for industrial properties. The budget continues to include a 15 per cent property tax rate reduction to support more than 29,000 small businesses.
The total tabled 10-year capital plan is $49.26 billion, which includes funding for strategic areas such as transit, housing and climate action. It includes the $1.05 billion capital plan for Solid Waste Management Services and the $15.34 billion capital plan for Toronto Water.
The tabled budget includes a planned 1.5 per cent increase to the City Building Levy consistent with the City’s approved capital funding strategy, an additional $50 for the average assessed value of a Toronto home. Since 2017, this dedicated levy has supported, and continues to support transit and housing investments; $6.1 billion in the current 10-Year Capital Plan.
This year, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Budget Committee will once again 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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) and on the City’s Members of Council webpage.
A Backgrounder on the City’s 2023 Budget process is available on the City’s Media Room webpage.
More information is available on the City’s 2023 Budget webpage.
“The 2023 tabled budget follows through on my commitment to protect the frontline services that Toronto residents and businesses rely upon, while investing in housing, transit and community safety. We have worked to find millions of dollars in savings and offsets so that we can make vital investments in municipal services our residents rely on. Throughout the pandemic we have maintained the City’s strong credit ratings – a testament to our careful, responsible and prudent fiscal management and our continued partnerships with other orders of government. I will continue my advocacy to secure the expected support from the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario for Toronto this year and beyond.”
– Mayor John Tory
“I have been Chair of the Budget Committee for eight previous budgets and this budget, without a doubt, has been the most challenging to date – from the pressures of inflation, to the significant financial repercussions of the pandemic that we continue to face today. Despite these challenges, we have tabled a budget that maintains frontline services, invests in transit, housing and community safety and manages affordability with a below inflation property tax increase.”
– Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Budget Committee
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.
Note: This news release was updated on January 10, 2023 to reflect that $17 million in crisis supports is funding both the Toronto Community Crisis Service pilot and the Community Crisis Response Program. A previous version only noted the Toronto Community Crisis Service pilot.