Budget Details Include Property Tax Hike
John Tory’s first budget process as Mayor of Toronto has officially been tabled, with taxpayers across the city preparing for a slight boost to their property taxes.
The multi-million dollar document, still to be debated an approved, is set to hike taxes by less than the rate of inflation, to around 2.25%.
The figure however does not include the 0.5% increase that was approved under the previous administration, with funds going to the Scarborough Subway extension, meaning the overall tax increase will sit at 2.75%.
Provincial assessment charges add another 0.45%, bringing the total proposed increase to 3.2% or $83.19 for the average homeowner — one assessed at about $525,000.
“These budgets balance the need to invest in services and infrastructure to support today’s residents — especially our most vulnerable people — while still keeping Toronto affordable,” Torysaid.
Finding savings is also key to the mayor’s budget, with an across-the-board 2% efficiency cut requested, worth roughly $80 million.
The $31.7 billion capital budget plan includes cash that goes towards new capital investments to maintain transit, shelter and housing.
An increase of more than $400 million will be earmarked to the Gardiner Expressway, and accelerate the project by almost a decade, while nearly $800 million will go directly to the TTC for new subway cars & vehicles, and an additional $90 million to enhance the cycling network.
An $18 million reduction to the solid waste rebate program will result in an increase in user fees based on garbage bin sizes, with the hopes to push households to use the smaller bins.
During the election campaign last fall, Tory promised that he would have taxes sit at or around the rate of inflation. According to Statistics Canada, Toronto’s rate of inflation sits at 2.6%, compared to the national average of 1.95%.
Tory claimed this to be a victory during the press conference yesterday.
Do you agree that this budget is a victory?
photo courtesy of Global