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January 10, 2013
Executive Committee endorses budget for fiscal sustainability
Executive Committee endorses budget for fiscal sustainability

Today, Toronto's Executive Committee approved the proposed 2013 City Operating Budget and the 2013-2022 Capital Plan, moving the budget process forward.

The approval comes after the Executive Committee considered the recommended 2013 Operating Budget and 2013-2022 Capital Plan from the Budget Committee that includes input from public deputations and Councillors' feedback since the start of the budget process on November 29, 2012.

"Two years ago, I was elected to reduce the size and cost of government and that's what we've done," said Mayor Rob Ford, Chair of the Executive Committee. "The 2013 Budget is the result of working together to make this City more responsible and stronger than ever. As well as holding the line on debt, we've found ways to save money while maintaining public services and infrastructure that make Toronto a fantastic place to live, work and invest."

"The 2013 Recommended Tax Supported Operating Budget is a major step towards fiscal sustainability," said Councillor Mike Del Grande (Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt), Chair of the Budget Committee. "For the first time since amalgamation, the City has virtually eliminated the use of prior year, one-time surplus revenues."

The 2013 Recommended Operating Budget of $9.4 billion (gross) includes a moderate property tax rate increase of 2% for residential and 0.67% for business properties, TTC fare and user fee increases in line with inflation, and financing for the City's Capital Plan.

"Virtually every City Program and Agency has met the challenge of bringing a budget forward that has a 0% increase, achieving $186 million in savings realized from efficiency and cost saving measures that have a minimal impact on services," said City Manager Joe Pennachetti. "As a result, the vast majority of the City's services remain in place with modest enhancements of $15 million primarily for transit, fire services and emergency services."

The Executive Committee recommends a Capital Budget of $2.270 billion for 2013 and $15.251 billion for the 10-year Capital Plan period. The 10-year Capital Plan achieves a balance between prioritizing the maintenance of existing City assets in a state of good repair and addresses growth needs on a City-wide basis. The Capital Budget and Plan accommodates an additional $1.2 billion for transit as well as ongoing rehabilitation work on the Gardiner Expressway, road resurfacing and reconstruction and key capital works to address traffic congestion.

Eliminating the reliance on operating surplus for the Operating Budget and adherence to Council's approved policy of utilizing surplus for capital financing results in a significant reduction in future debt financing of over $800 million for the 10-Year Capital Plan. The result is that the City is increasing the 10-Year Capital Plan by $1.2 billion while concurrently reducing debt.

"By exercising fiscal discipline, we're able to avoid additional debt and prevent our City from reaching its debt charge limit while investing in critical transit and transportation infrastructure for a growing City," said Financial Planning Director Josie LaVita. "The City continues to reduce its debt borrowing costs which enables us to reinvest in our services."

Toronto City Council will review and approve the final 2013 Operating Budget and 2013-2022 Capital Budget and Plan at its meeting on January 15, 16 and 17, 2013.

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Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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