City of Toronto introduces 2011 budget|
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The City of Toronto today introduced balanced 2011 tax supported and utility rate budgets with no property tax increase for the people of Toronto.
In addition to the tax supported operating and capital budgets, separate capital and operating budgets for utilities encompassing solid waste, water and sewer services were also introduced.
"Toronto is holding the line on property taxes," said Mayor Rob Ford. "I've always said that I would get this city back on its financial feet and today is a step in the right direction. This budget has no major service cuts to City programs. We can spend smarter and still deliver better customer service to taxpayers."
The 2011 tax supported operating budget of 10.630 billion maintains the City's services with minor service level changes that do not affect the City's commitment to customer service excellence. The City Manager proposed the following measures to balance and stabilize the City's budget:
· Continuing cost constraint
· Conducting service efficiency reviews
· Maximizing corporate assets to pay down debt
· Securing permanent provincial funding to return to permanent predictable transit operating funding
City staff took several actions to balance the 2011 operating budget:
· Applying a 2009 residual surplus: $78 million
· Applying a 2010 projected surplus: $268 million
· Increasing revenues from:
o Municipal land transfer tax: $50 million
o Supplementary taxes: $5 million
o Investment income: $10 million
o TTC ridership growth and advertising: $58 million
· Identifying service efficiencies and minor service level changes: $57 million
"City staff met the Mayor's budget directions given in December. All City divisions successfully identified efficiencies and other expenditure reductions," said City Manager Joe Pennachetti.
"The City has a higher than anticipated projected 2010 surplus estimated at $268 million, partly due to nearly $40 million in salary savings from a hiring slowdown," said Chief Financial Officer Cam Weldon. "Combined surpluses total $346 million, but the key to balancing the 2011 budget is the continued growth in revenues based on a better economy than was expected when the 2010 budget was launched last year," he added.
The 2011 – 2020 capital budget and plan strategy is achieved through $22.448 billion tax and rate capital spending. The strategy will also protect and create 257,000 jobs in Toronto. The budget is based on project readiness and the City's ability and capacity to spend. It achieves a balance between maintaining existing City assets and addressing City-wide service gaps.
"Staff are recommending a firm 10 year capital plan that manages City assets in an affordable manner by matching infrastructure renewal to meet service delivery needs, managing our debt to minimize the impact on the operating budget," said Mr. Pennachetti.
The 10 year capital plan focuses on transportation and transit, public safety and emergency services, community and recreation services, improving customer service and investing in public spaces.
The 2011 tax supported capital budget and plan is $13.011 billion.
Over the coming days each City division and agencies will present their proposed budget to the Budget Committee.
Complete information about the City’s 2011 recommended budgets is available on the City’s website at www.toronto.ca/budget2011
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 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.
Adrienne Batra, Office of Mayor Rob Ford, 416-994-5892 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie DeSouza, Director, Strategic Communications, 416-397-5277, cell 416-919-6500, email@example.com
Cindy Bromley, Manager, Communications, Finance & Administration, 416-392-4993, firstname.lastname@example.org