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January 17, 2012
City Council approves 2012 Operating Budget and 2012-2021 Capital Budget and Plan
Today, Toronto City Council approved a balanced 2012 Operating Budget of $9.4 billion and a 2012-2021 Capital Budget and Plan of $14.8 billion.
“The 2012 Budget is a reasonable and responsible budget,” said Mayor Rob Ford. “Council’s approval of the budget reflects what we were elected to do: fix the state of City finances and hold the line on property taxes, hold the line on the debt and ensure that we make every tax dollar count by providing the best services we can.”
“This is a turning point in the City’s history,” said Budget Committee Chair Mike Del Grande (Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt). “While not there just yet, the City is beginning to secure predictable, sustainable revenue sources to fund everyday expenses. We are collectively moving forward with greater responsibility and accountability. I’m proud that Toronto City Council in the end has decided to support this budget which will bring fiscal sustainability to the City in two years’ time.”
In 2012, the City will fund its everyday expenses such as fuel, salaries and utilities through its Council-approved Operating Budget that includes a 2.5 per cent property tax increase for residents, a 0.83 per cent tax increase for businesses and a 10-cent fare increase for TTC customers.
The 2.5% residential tax rate increase translates to an increase of $60 for the average residential household assessed at $447,090 in 2012 with the final 2012 municipal taxes on such a home being $2,459.89.
City Council has also approved a 0.83 per cent tax increase on the non-residential class, fulfilling its commitment to enhancing Toronto's business climate by bringing the non-residential tax rates closer to the target of 2.5 times the residential rate by 2020 - an initiative that began in October 2005 in accordance with provincial legislation.
Toronto's 2012 Operating Budget was balanced through a combination of $271 million in budget reductions and efficiencies, $56 million in service level adjustments, $327 million in increased revenue. The cost savings from base budget and service efficiencies have limited service impacts, enabling the City to maintain the core services that residents value.
The 2012 Budget marks the first decline in gross expenditures since amalgamation with a $20 million decrease in gross expenditures - reaffirming Council’s commitment to building a sustainable, affordable and well-managed city.
Major advancements were made in achieving fiscal sustainability in the 2012 Budget by reducing the reliance on one-time revenues from $346 million to $102 million, mainly by bringing expenses more in line with City revenue.
"Council's approval of the 2012 Operating Budget along with the 2012-2021 Capital Plan, combined with the key approval of the Surplus Management Policy to utilize surplus funds primarily to reduce debt, will finally provide a true multi-year budgetary plan which will lead to service and fiscal sustainability in Toronto," said City Manager Joe Pennachetti.
The 10-year capital plan approved by Council today achieves a proper balance between maintaining existing City assets in state of good repair and accommodating Toronto's growing population. The addition of $700 million in new funding expected from operating surpluses, asset monetization and expected future federal and provincial capital programs has solved the TTC's capital budget shortfall that was reported last year.
"The City will move forward on fiscal sustainability in 2013 and 2014 working to eliminate the City’s structural deficit by securing additional predictable revenue sources and providing services more efficiently," said Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer Cam Weldon.
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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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Manager, Finance Communications
City of Toronto 1998-2014