City Budget Watch
Compromised Budget Delivers Historic New Investment Turning the Corner on a City in Decline, While Also Allocating Millions More to the Police
Hundreds of residents took part in the “Fund Our City” rally in front of City Hall on the morning of February 14. Community members sent a strong message to Toronto City Council to support the Mayor’s budget, including proposed funding increases for critical programs, services, and infrastructure and the recommended property tax increase to raise much-needed revenue. Many participants urged Council to reverse years of underfunding of key services and expressed disappointment with Council’s plan to give the police a larger budget increase.
Property taxes are likely to be the topic of some debate at this Wednesday’s Council meeting, where final budget votes will take place. This year’s budget includes a proposed municipal tax increase that is considerably higher than previous years — on a residential property tax rate that is amongst the lowest in Canada. If passed, it will raise much-needed revenue to pay for critical programs and services and turn the corner on years of decline in our city.
As we head into the final stretch of the 2024 City of Toronto budget process, with the final Council vote set for February 14, now’s the time to take action for a better City budget!
Mayor’s Budget Responds to Strong Community Calls for Change, Adding Millions for Expansion of Critical Services
Strong, vocal and ongoing community advocacy has been instrumental in delivering a better budget for Torontonians. Today, February 1, Mayor Chow released her much-anticipated budget from the Scarborough Centre subway station, with good news for Scarborough and all Toronto residents. Following the advice of residents, community groups and advocates, the Mayor’s budget adds millions in funding to support and expand critical services, recommends slightly lower property tax increases for residential and multi-residential properties than those proposed in the City staff-prepared budget, and balances the books while safeguarding and increasing services.
It was a busy day, with two federal funding announcements. Read all about it, along with a look at breaking news on the Mayor’s budget, and new staff reports coming to Council to advance the City’s long-term financial plan and its goal of putting the municipality on a firm financial foundation.
It’s been a busy week at Budget Committee! About 270 Toronto residents participated in Budget Sub-Committee deputation sessions on Monday and Tuesday. The Budget Committee concluded the week with a review of new briefing notes prepared by City staff and voted on a motion that puts forward several recommendations to inform the Mayor’s budget, set to be released on February 1.
On January 16–18, the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee met to review the 2024 staff-prepared City budget, taking a closer look at the individual budgets of each City agency, division, and accountability office. Here are our highlights from three key areas of the budget review, details about briefing note requests, and a reminder about what’s up next.
The City of Toronto defines public engagement as "all the ways in which the City interacts with the public every day to build relationships and to seek and receive input and advice on its programs, policies and services. Individuals, businesses, organizations and groups can offer feedback and expertise in many ways.... Public participation helps strengthen the relationship between the City and the public, and shapes Toronto’s policies, programs, and services to meet the diverse needs of Torontonians."
Listen up, Budget Committee! Toronto residents need investments to build an affordable, livable city.
From our work with resident leaders, community organizations and groups, and our budget coalition partners, and from our own analyses of the City budget, we've compiled key messages to support you in drafting your deputations to the Budget Committee on the 2024 City of Toronto Budget. Please use what is useful to you and leave what is not. Please also check out yesterday’s blog post for links to more analysis from our partners and our Budget Town Hall.
Preparing for Budget Deputations? Check Out SPT’s 2024 City Budget Town Hall Video for In-Depth Budget Analysis from SPT and Our Amazing Partners!
Are you planning to speak to the Budget Committee at next week’s public hearings/deputation sessions? Going to submit comments to the Budget Committee, or want to learn more about the City of Toronto’s 2024 Budget? Check out the video recording and presentations from Social Planning Toronto’s 2024 City Budget Town Hall held today, January 18!