City of Toronto launches 2022 tax-supported budgets for public input

Today, the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee began the process of reviewing the staff-recommended tax-supported 2022 operating and capital budgets. 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 17.

Toronto residents and businesses can share their feedback on the staff-recommended budgets with the Budget Committee by registering to speak at its meetings on January 24 and 25, or by submitting written comments by email or mail. Speakers are asked to register by 4:30 p.m. on January 21. More information about ways to provide feedback is available at www.toronto.ca/budget.

Toronto has been a leader during the COVID-19 pandemic and it has demanded a significant City response and has had a substantial impact on the City’s finances due to both increased costs and revenue losses. These impacts are expected to continue into 2022, with projected financial impacts of approximately $1.4 billion.

The 2022 staff-recommended tax-supported budgets ensure the City can continue to:
•       Deliver critical and responsive City services during the pandemic
•       Invest in public health, including the largest and most successful vaccination campaign in the country
•       Add 62 frontline paramedics as part of the Council-approved Toronto Paramedic Services Multi-Year Staffing and Systems Plan
•       Invest in shelters to provide for physical distancing
•       Accelerate transformational work to deliver affordable and supportive housing
•       Invest in transit to keep Toronto moving and equitable
•       Support Toronto’s economic recovery with an emphasis on small businesses
•       Expand digital services for residents and business
•       Implement long-term care reform initiatives and expand the Seniors Services Unit to continue providing the highest quality care to long-term care residents.
•       Manage the City’s long-term financial sustainability

The total 2022 staff-recommended operating budget is $14.99 billion, including the $1.96 billion rate-supported operating budgets approved by City Council on December 15, 2021.

To address the impacts of COVID-19, the operating budget contains $1.4 billion in necessary relief funding that requires the continued support of both the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada.

The City has implemented a range of spending restraints and measures to offset the financial impact of the pandemic and sustain critical operations. For the third consecutive year, City-led mitigation strategies will result in significant savings of $494 million.

The total staff-recommended tax-supported 10-year capital plan is $46.58 billion which includes funding for strategic areas such as mobility, housing, modernization and climate action. It includes the $16.05 billion rate-supported capital budgets approved by City Council on December 15, 2021.

The budget proposes an overall average budgetary increase of 2.11 per cent. This equates to a 2.9 per cent property tax increase for residential properties – an additional $93 for the average Toronto household, a 1.45 per cent increase for commercial properties and a 0.97 per cent increase for industrial properties. There will be no increase for multi-residential or apartment buildings, as per provincial legislation. The budget also includes the City Council approved 15 per cent property tax rate reduction for small businesses.

The budget includes an incremental 1.5 per cent increase to the City Building levy consistent with the City’s planned and approved capital funding strategy – an additional $48 for the average Toronto household. This dedicated levy will be invested in major transit and housing capital initiatives. City Council first approved the City Building Fund as part of the 2017 budget.

More information about the City’s budget is available at www.toronto.ca/budget.
Quotes:

“Like last year, the staff-proposed 2022 budget is also a COVID-19 budget – that’s important to keep in mind as we face the threat of the Omicron variant right now. This is a responsible budget that will ensure Toronto gets through the Omicron surge and ultimately through this pandemic and comes back stronger than ever. As the budget notes, we have worked to find $1.6 billion in efficiencies, savings, offsets and other measures over the course of the pandemic, including almost $500 million in this budget. We have also worked throughout this pandemic with the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to protect services, invest in crucial areas that need it and to keep costs affordable. As I have made clear many times in the lead up to this budget, that cooperation between all governments and support for Toronto and all municipalities must continue this year as I am confident it will. Over the coming weeks, as Budget Chief Gary Crawford, the Budget Committee and City Council work to finalize the budget, I will be continuing my advocacy with the other levels of government to ensure we protect frontline services and continue to make needed investments in major capital infrastructure projects.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is profound, ongoing and evolving. We continue to actively respond to the pandemic while investing in the City’s economic recovery. This year’s budget remains responsible in the face of our financial challenges – once again we have kept costs down and found savings in order to maintain service levels while keeping property taxes affordable.”
– Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough-Southwest), Budget Committee Chair

SOURCE  City of Toronto

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