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Toronto raises taxes, focuses on affordable housing, transit, safety, climate change, more


TORONTO, ON., February 20, 2020 – Yesterday, City Council unanimously approved a 2020 tax-supported operating budget of $11.6 billion and a 10-year tax-supported capital budget of $27.9 billion. The budget ensures the City is able to preserve all 150-plus existing services, while making new investments in key capital infrastructure, including significant funding for transit and housing. 

What does this all mean?

The overall average budgetary increase is 1.43 per cent, with a two per cent property tax increase for residential properties, a one per cent increase for commercial properties and a 0.66 per cent increase for industrial properties. There is no increase for multi-residential/apartment buildings, as per provincial legislation. The average Toronto household will pay an additional $61 on their municipal property tax bill in 2020, excluding the increase to the City Building Fund for dedicated transit and affordable housing funding. 

The 2020 tax-supported operating budget focuses on keeping the property tax increase for City operations at the level of inflation, preserving or improving existing services and investing in key Council priorities. The budget includes $79.4 million in new investments to address key commitments including community safety, road safety, climate change, the ravine strategy and poverty reduction. When combined with the $1.9 billion rate-supported operating budget approved by City Council on December 17, 2019, the total 2020 operating budget is $13.5 billion. 

Lead photo supplied by Toronto float plane pilot, Mark Nye

The approved balanced budget invests in key frontline services – 86 per cent of the new positions are non-management. This budget will hire 62 new paramedics, more than 300 police officers, 21 librarians for youth hubs and 121 TTC operators

The modernised tax-supported 10-year capital plan prioritises achievability and affordability, and where possible, allows the City to move up planned capital work and complete it sooner. With the additional $15.5 billion rate-supported capital budget approved by City Council on December 17, 2019, the total 10-year capital plan is $43.4 billion. The plan meets the City’s most critical needs for transportation, the environment, real estate and emergency service facilities. The plan invests a total of $13.2 billion in transit, nearly doubling the investment in state-of-good-repair this year. 

On December 17, 2019, Toronto City Council approved an extension to the City Building Fund to invest an additional $6.6 billion to improve Toronto’s transit system and build more affordable housing across the city. The extension will increase the City Building Levy by an additional one per cent in 2020 and 2021 (bringing the total levy increase to 1.5 per cent in those years) and continue with a 1.5 per cent annual increase in each year from 2022 to 2025, costing the average Toronto household an increase of approximately $45 per year. 

As Toronto faces a number of regional pressures, the approved budget reflects continued federal and provincial partnership support for Toronto Community Housing building repairs, refugee support and transit investment. As part of the 2020 budget process, programs and agencies considered the impact on all Torontonians, analyzing the effect of budget changes on equity-seeking groups, such as residents with low incomes. The budget includes more than $25 million in poverty reduction and anti-violence community investments to make City services and programs more accessible. 

Budget notes, presentations, videos and reports are available at toronto.ca/budget

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