Toronto budget proposal includes property tax hike of 10.5%


Ontario Construction News staff writer

Toronto city council is debating a property tax increase in the double digits to tackle a $1.8 billion operating budget shortfall.

A report on the city’s budgetary outlook released last summer projected a $1.5 billion shortfall for this year. It said the city is facing a combined operating and capital pressure of $46.5 billion in its budget over the next decade.

Measures suggested to address the budget crisis included a progressively increased land-transfer tax on high-value homes, raising the vacant homes tax from one to three per cent, and introducing a new commercial parking levy along with higher fees at on-street parking meters.

budget toA proposed 2024 budget presented to council Wednesday includes a nine per cent property tax increase for residential properties and a 1.5 per cent increase to bolster a fund dedicated to building transit and housing.

Public consultations last November determined priorities including:

  • Affordable housing and shelter services
  • Transit services
  • Making Toronto safer

Councillors say $600 million in savings was found to help tackle “significant budget pressures” fuelled by growing demand for refugee claimant support and shelter spaces as well as decreased transit revenues.

The proposal is also based on an expectation the federal government will provide a full reimbursement of costs related to support for refugee claimants, which it estimates to be $250 million for 2024.

Toronto Coun. Shelley Carroll, who chairs the city’s budget committee, says that if Ottawa does not provide funding, there will be “no choice” but to propose an additional six per cent levy on homeowners to cover those costs.

Carroll said the tax hike proposed for 2024 could have been lower if the city had not kept property tax increases artificially low in the past.

“That’s not wise, that’s not prudent. What we’re trying to do here is to be very wise, very prudent, and chart a new course that actually does allow us to get better and better and better in this city,” she told reporters Wednesday. feedback about the 2024 staff prepared Budget. The following opportunities are also listed on the city’s Budget webpage.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to join one of three telephone town halls:

  • Tuesday, January 16, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 17, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 18, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

To participate, Toronto residents and businesses can call 1-833-490-0778 toll-free at the time of the town hall.

The budget committee will also hear speakers in person and by video conference. Meetings will be held:

  • Monday, January 22, Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 1, 100 Queen St. W., 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Monday, January 22, Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chamber, 150 Borough Dr., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 23, Etobicoke Civic Centre, Council Chamber, 399 The West Mall, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 23, North York Civic Centre, Council Chamber, 5100 Yonge St., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.

Speakers must register by emailing or calling 416-392-4666 before 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 19.


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