City Budget & Property Taxes

Who's Responsible for What?

The City Budget is about working together to build a safe, caring and affordable city where everyone belongs.

Each time you visit a recreation centre, borrow a library book, have your recycling picked up, drink clean water from the tap, ride the TTC or have emergency services rush to your aid – you are using one of many City of Toronto services.

The budget is a financial plan that describes how much money the City will raise and spend. It determines the level of service provided to Toronto residents and guides decisions on what City infrastructure will be built and repaired.

Frequently Asked Questions

To meet significant budget pressures, the tabled budget proposes a property tax increase of 9 percent for residential properties and 4.5 percent for multi-residential properties. The increase amounts to an additional $374 for the average assessed value of a Toronto home.

A 1.5 percent increase to the City Building Levy is also planned to fund housing and transit needs, an additional $50 for the average assessed value of a Toronto home.

For the average Toronto household using 230 cubic metres of water per year, the water and wastewater consumption 3 percent rate increase will cost an additional $30 annually (eight cents per day), for a total of $1,039 in 2024.

The three percent rate increase to the annual solid waste fee for a single-family household will be $8.60 for a small bin (for a total of $295.29), $10.44 for a medium bin (for a total of $358.47), $14.18 for a large bin (for a total of $486.86) and $16.45 for an extra-large bin (for a total of $564.71).

For the first time in over 12 years, Mayor Chow re-introduced Pre-Budget Community Consultations.

If you wish to participate and have your voice heard in the budget process, I encourage residents and businesses to join one of three telephone town halls :

  • Tuesday, January 16 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
  • Wednesday, January 17 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
  • Thursday, January 18 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The Budget Committee will also hear speakers in person and by video conference on Monday, January 22, at Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 1, 100 Queen Street West, at the following times:

  • 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
  • 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
  • 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Speakers are asked to register by email: [email protected] or call: 416-392-4666 by 4:30 pm on Monday, January 16. The meeting will be streamed live on the Toronto City Council YouTube channel. Written comments can be submitted to the Budget Committee by email: [email protected] or by mail: Attention Budget Committee, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, 10th floor, West Tower, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2.

Selling city assets can sometimes appear as a fast and easy solution for bridging budget gaps. However, it's essential to understand that this approach is short-sighted and not fiscally responsible in the long term.

Firstly, when the city sells an asset, it's essentially a one-time deal. This might lead to temporary financial relief, but it doesn't provide a renewable source of income. Once an asset is sold, the city cannot benefit from it again in the future.

Secondly, public assets often generate ongoing revenue. For example, a public parking lot contributes regularly to the city's budget through parking fees. If we were to sell this asset, we would lose this reliable income source.

Moreover, controlling public assets allows us to prioritize the social and public good over private profit. Once an asset is privatized, the main aim becomes profitability rather than serving the citizens. This could lead to increased costs for the public and potentially decreased accessibility and quality.

Finally, selling assets can lead to less transparency and less public accountability. Governments are accountable to their citizens for managing public assets. When we sell these assets, we lose oversight and control.

While selling assets might provide a quick fix, it doesn't support our longer-term fiscal responsibilities. Instead, we should focus on finding sustainable solutions to manage our budget wisely while continually serving the city's and our residents' best interests.

While it is crucial to seek ways to improve and find efficiencies, the reality is that the City of Toronto has been operating at a near-starvation level for several years, with taxes kept at or below inflation. City divisions have been in a mode of expenditure reduction for the past 12 years, resulting in various constraints.

For instance, hiring freezes have been implemented, preventing the addition of new employees to aid in our city's growth and development. We've also struggled to pay competitive wages in today's market, which can limit our ability to attract and retain top talent. Numerous critical projects have also been deferred because we do not have the resources to implement them.

Many residents have voiced their concerns to me about these issues. They see the effects of our limited resources in the form of inadequate bylaw enforcement and cleanliness standards in our streets and parks.

To address these growing issues and get our city back on track, we must start investing in our priorities rather than cutting them. We must bolster our housing initiatives, improve and expand our transit system, and enhance other crucial city services that residents rely on daily.

A cost-saving mindset has its place, but it is also important to remember that our city's success, vibrancy, and livability rely on strategic investments. These are investments in our future and the legacy we leave for the next generation.

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