City Council approves 2014 Operating Budget and 2014-2023 Capital Budget and Plan
The City of Toronto Media Relations issued the following news release on Jan. 30, 2014:
Toronto City Council has approved a balanced 2014 Tax Supported Operating Budget of $9.6 billion and 10-Year Capital Budget and Plan of $18.6 billion that makes significant investments in key strategic priorities for the City’s future. The Budget continues to strengthen the City’s fiscal health and for the second year in a row, the Budget was balanced without the use of the prior year’s surplus.
“It’s important that the City remain fiscally responsible by making every effort to find efficiencies to reduce operating costs, keep taxes low, and continue to deliver affordable programs and services,” said Mayor Rob Ford.
“This budget is an example of City Council working together to meet the needs of Toronto residents and businesses and ensures we continue to build a great city,” said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt). “This budget will invest in the Scarborough subway, major infrastructure projects, improve front-line emergency services and critical social services.”
“The 2014 Budget makes important investments in our future while keeping the tax increase to a minimum,” said Councillor Frank Di Giorgio (Ward 12 York South-Weston), Chair of the City’s Budget Committee. “Even with the approved tax increase, Toronto’s residential property taxes remain the lowest in the Greater Toronto Area.”
The 2014 Operating Budget includes a 2.23-per-cent property tax increase for residential properties. This translates into an increase of $56.66 for the average residential property assessed at $499,521, which will pay $2,598 in municipal taxes in 2014. Included in the increase is dedicated funding of $12.70 (0.5-per-cent increase) for construction of the new Scarborough Subway and $1.63 (0.06-per-cent increase) to begin the significant work to restore the City’s tree canopy after the ice storm, in partnership with the provincial and federal governments. More information on the property tax impact is available at http://bitly.com/MC7ffA.
As part of its overall strategy to enhance Toronto’s business climate, the City continues to reduce its tax rates for commercial, industrial and multi-residential. This will result in an additional 0.48 per cent or $11.93 for residential properties to make the total tax increase 2.71 per cent or $68.59. The total average increase for non-residential properties, which include rental apartment buildings, is 0.30 per cent.
“The overall tax increase in this year’s operating budget is only 1.14 per cent, which is well below the rate of inflation,” said City Manager Joe Pennachetti. “This includes the cost to maintain current service levels as well as investing in transit, housing, roads and our recreational facilities for today’s residents and the generations to come.”
The 2014 Operating Budget maintains all current programs and services and provides funding for new and enhanced services including:
- Investments in more front-line paramedics and additional fire prevention officers, and re-starting the hiring of new police officers.
- Expansion of the Student Nutrition Program.
- Increased child care spaces.
- New recreation centres, additional recreation youth spaces and priority centres.
- New libraries and expanded library hours.
- Restored funding for the High Park Zoo.
- Additional $12 million in funding to meet public transit/TTC growth needs.
- Extra resources for City Planning.
- Increased support for Arts and Culture.
City Council also approved a Capital Budget of $3.013 billion for 2014 and $18.612 billion for its 10-year Capital Plan. The 10-Year Capital Plan continues to advance the City's long-term fiscal plan objectives and focuses on infrastructure rehabilitation. It places priority on projects that protect the health and safety of citizens and that maintain the City’s infrastructure in a state of good repair to support cost-effective service delivery.
The 2013-2022 Capital Budget and Plan includes:
- An additional $3.437 billion for the Scarborough Subway.
- An additional $137 million for transportation including road resurfacing and reconstruction and key capital projects to address traffic congestion.
- $535 million over the next 10 years to repair and maintain the Gardiner Expressway.
- An additional $286 million for Parks, Forestry and Recreation to address the state-of-good-repair backlog for a total of $439 million over the next 10 years.
- $6.3 billion over the next 10 years for the TTC to address ridership growth, as well as repair infrastructure and replace aging subway and streetcars.