A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[URBAN NOTE] “What will the City of Toronto’s 2017 budget cost us?”

The Toronto Star‘s Jennifer Pagliaro explains for readers what has changed in the coming year’s budget, and how.

For those who own their own home in Toronto, big or small, the proposed budget keeps your property taxes low, as Mayor John Tory promised.

But analysis of that plan released late last year says this budget unfairly burdens the city’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable residents — those who rely on transit, city-run recreation programs and social services.

The city’s most senior public servant, city manager Peter Wallace, has repeatedly outlined that the city’s current problem is its revenue, not its spending, and that with relatively low taxes the city is struggling to pay for the services in place today, let alone the billions of dollars needed for unfunded projects.

Even though the preliminary operating budget proposed by staff does not include any new money for increased services, a $91-million budget gap remains.

The budget has been presented to council with a series of choices and stated risks — what to fund, what to cut and new strategies to close the gap. The process to make those decisions resumed last week, and the budget will be finalized in February.

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Written by Randy McDonald

January 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm

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