Feb 16, 2017
By Jane Brown
The budget battle at Toronto City Hall is over.
Toronto City Councillors have approved a 2 percent property tax hike as part of a balanced operating budget, what Mayor John Tory calls “reasonable”.
2017 budget deliberations went late last night because of differing opinions on the property tax increase. Councillor Georgio Mammoliti’s motion for a 0 percent property tax increase failed by a vote of 40-2. On the other side of the argument, Councillor Gord Perks put forward a 4.26 percent increase, arguing that residents can afford to pay more to help the city’s most vulnerable. That motion failed 32-10.
In the end, Mayor Tory’s 2 percent increase won the day by a vote of 35-8.
“Somewhere between the odd couple here, 0 and 4.26 percent, guess what’s just in between the two?” Tory questioned rhetorically.
Both the tax-supported operating budget of $10.5 billion and a ten-year capital budget and plan of $26.5 billion have passed.
A release from the City of Toronto says “the operating budget maintains current programs and services and provides funding for $43-million in new and enhanced services, including investment in poverty reduction, childcare and community wellness, safe transportation, environmental sustainability and city building. In addition, $37 million dollars more is being provided to Toronto Community Housing.”