The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the deep social, racial and geographic inequalities in our city. It’s more important than ever that Toronto City Council and all orders of government invest in critical programs, services and infrastructure to advance social justice and equity and safeguard and support struggling residents and communities.
About the Budget
Through the budget process, Toronto City Council makes important decisions about critical programs, services, and infrastructure — what it’s going to fund (adequately or not), if it’s going to cut programs or services, if it’s going to freeze budgets (given rising program costs, a budget freeze is, in effect, a service cut), and how it’s going to pay for these vital programs. These decisions are arguably the most important that Council makes all year — they tell us whether Council is going to move the city forward and address critical issues in our communities, or not. Budget decisions reveal the priorities of City Council and shape the quality of life of residents and communities across the city throughout the year.
The tax-supported budget includes operating budgets (to pay for the operation of programs and services) and capital budgets (to pay for infrastructure, such as purchasing buses or streetcars, or building a new library or community centre). The tax-supported budget includes all City service areas except for the Toronto Parking Authority (Green P parking), Toronto Water, and solid waste management (garbage and recycling), which are included in the rate-supported budget. Tax-supported budgets cover everything else — housing and homeless services, child care, public transit, recreation, libraries, Toronto police, emergency services, community services provided by nonprofits, and much more).
The tax-supported budget is funded through property taxes, federal and provincial funding, TTC fares, user fees and fines, the Municipal Land Transfer Tax, and other sources. In contrast, rate-supported services are paid for through user fees, including revenues from water and garbage fees and parking fees at Green P lots.
City of Toronto Budget Resources
Check out the City of Toronto budget webpage, updated regularly through the budget process. All City budget notes, briefing notes, presentations, and related budget documents are posted here: www.toronto.ca/budget