COVID has had a devastating impact on the city’s budget, increasing costs and reducing revenue. Although the federal and provincial governments have provided funding to cover some of the costs, Toronto has been left with a budget hole of almost $1 Billion.
We are, thankfully, legally obliged to approve a balanced budget, with no deficit for operating expenses. So the Budget Committee, which begins deliberations next week, needs to find a way to fill the whole.
Certainly, we expect the other levels of government to cover the costs and shortfalls directly attributable to the pandemic. But we will need to look at some drastic contingencies if they don’t.
Council is hoping, as in other years, to keep the tax increase at or about the rate of inflation, which this year is less than one percent, in addition to a 1.5% levy for transit expansion.
Over the next several weeks, there will be more in this newsletter about some of our ideas for how we think the city should proceed, but your voice is just as important. You can find all of the documents that we will be reviewing as a council at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/budget-finances/city-budget/.
If you have opinions about the upcoming budget, please feel free to share them in an e-mail with us, by submitting comments, or by making a deputation at the Budget Committee. You can learn more about how to formally submit comments or make a deputation at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/budget-finances/city-budget/how-to-get-involved-in-the-budget/
Here is a schedule of upcoming meetings, should you wish to keep yourself on top of the process.
Committee Review - January 20-22, 2021
Public Deputations - January 25-26, 2021
Wrap-Up - January 28, 2021
Budget Committee Final Wrap-Up - February 4, 2021
Executive Committee - February 11, 2021
City Council - February 18-19, 2021