Let’s face facts. Most of the City’s budget is allocated to legislatively required services, many of which were downloaded by the province. The budget we control at our sole discretion is roughly $1.5 billion. Our projected funding shortfall is over $0.4 billion. The shortfall grows with inflation, property taxes do not. Our choices will be deep cuts to the kinds of services you and I believe make Toronto liveable, or property tax increases in the 20% range.
I have no desire to reduce the levels of public services in Toronto. If fact, there are some areas: recreation, transit and public health where I believe we must expand services. We have a shortfall that I believe is short term. I want to be certain that we manage the short term problem so that it doesn’t become a long term problem.
City Council will debate the new taxes on Monday October 22nd. Please join the Mayor, myself and other Torontonians in a show of support for our City’s future. We will gather at 8:30 am in Nathan Phillips Square before proceeding to Council to hear this important debate.