In October, the Board hosted a half-day Toronto Budget Forum with senior
elected and un-elected City officials. Through two breakout sessions -
one dedicated to expenditures and the other revenue - Board members
spent an entire morning working through ideas to achieve fiscal balance.
The ideas generated built on the principals of our VoteToronto2010
platform and have given shape to our 2012 budget submission.
2012 City of Toronto Operating Budget Submission
The Board submitted its 2012 City of Toronto Operating Budget
submission, entitled 'Paradigm Shift',
on January 10th.
The budget sets out new and clear boundaries which we support.
Importantly we are encouraged to see our Mayor and Council facing up to
the city's fiscal reality. For too long City budgets have been balanced
on the backs of surpluses, provincial grants, and other unreliable
sources of revenue. This budget lays out a paradigm shift at City Hall.
Going forward, if the City is to provide a program or service, it must
have ongoing and predictable revenue streams to pay for it. If the funds
do not exist, a trade off must be made by ending an existing program or
At the same time the Board has concerns about some funding reductions
that we believe are essential to the City's economic and social well
being. In particular we are concerned about reduced funding to the
TTC. All levels of government must find ways to fund more
transportation, not less.
As well, the Board would like the City to reconsider the $4.7 million
reduction to the Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP)
which has a deeply felt positive impact in Toronto's thirteen priority
Understanding the new paradigm, our submission recommends ways the City
could raise the needed revenue. We believe a property tax increase of
3% (instead of 2.5% recommended by the city) and a TTC fare
increase of 15 cents (instead of 10 cents recommended by the city)
would increase additional sustainable revenue by $26 million.
This would allow for payment of our stated priorities and other
recommendations, while balancing of the budget in both the short and
The Board is proud of the leadership of its members in setting policy
goals for the City of Toronto based on the shared vision of building a
globally competitive environment for business, improving our aging
public infrastructure, enhancing social cohesion and economic inclusion,
and most importantly establishing a sustainable fiscal framework for