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May 1, 2001
Council Approves 2001 Budget
  
Toronto City Council today approved a $6.1 billion tax-supported operating
budget and a $1.120 billion tax-supported capital budget for the year 2001 with
another $1.034 billion committed as project cash flow over the next four years
for a total capital budget of $2.154 billion. The operating budget is an
increase of 2.6 per cent over the 2000 budget of $5.9 B, and requires a tax
increase of five per cent on homeowners because of provincial regulations
limiting tax increases to the residential sector.

Mayor Mel Lastman said, "This has been the most difficult budget in the new
City's short life. It points to the clear need for a re-definition of funding
responsibilities with both the provincial and federal governments. I thank
Budget Advisory Committee Chair David Shiner and all the members of the Budget
Advisory Committee and the chairs and members of the Standing Committees and
staff for their incredibly hard work."

Chief Administrative Officer Michael R. Garrett said, "This budget represents a
turning point for the new City. It is the most serious evidence to date that
without the legislative tools and resources to match the new responsibilities
facing this City, Toronto is clearly in an unsustainable position. And that's
not just Toronto speaking, it is now the view of bond rating agencies such as
DBRS, the Toronto Board of Trade and the Association of Municipalities of
Ontario."

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Wanda Liczyk said, "Budget 2001 shows
the urgent and critical need to get the Corporation on solid financial footing
for the long haul. On a positive note, the new budget process used this year
clearly works. More councillors have been involved in the process and they had
access to the key information necessary for sound decisions."

The 2001 operating budget reflects savings and efficiencies in service delivery
and the elimination of any room to manoevre in major expenditure and revenue
items. The 2001 capital budget strikes a balance between TTC cost pressures, GO
Transit expansion, the demand for new investments, the need for maintenance of
the City's infrastructure and the introduction of new, longer-term, state of
good repair programs for City assets.

The initial operating budget shortfall of $305 million was reduced to $203
million during the budget process. Provincial regulation changes and one-time
funding resulted in a further reduction to $48 million. Since a one per cent
tax increase limited to the residential class produces $9.6 million, the
resulting residential tax increase becomes five per cent.

Discussions continue between members of Toronto Council and officials of the
Province to achieve a long-term solution to the inequities caused by
downloading and the tax revenue restrictions of the province's Bill 140.

For more information, and to view copies of our 2001 Budget Backgrounders,
visit the the City's Web site at
http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/city_budget/index.htm


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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