Toronto's preliminary 2018 city budget has been released

Nov 30 2017, 4:43 pm

The City of Toronto released its 2018 Preliminary Tax Supported Operating Budget on Thursday morning.

The budget, being discussed initially by the Budget Committee, is $10.97 billion for next year, a financial investment that the City says will continue to deliver service to Toronto residents and businesses.

The proposed budget includes a 2.1% tax increase for residential properties, 1.05% increase for commercial properties and a 0.70% for industrial properties.

The majority (38%) of the tax supported budget comes from property taxes. In its budget overview, the City looks at a Toronto home with an assessed value of $624,418. Based on that value, the homeowner would pay $2,906 in municipal property taxes in 2018.

But, the proposal says, there will be no increase for multi-residential/apartment buildings as per provincial legislation, and no TTC fare increase.

City of Toronto

So where does the majority of the money go?

Using the the City’s homeowner breakdown, $1,050.57 (or 36.3%) of that $2,906 in property taxes will be allocated to Emergency Services which include Fire, Paramedic and Police. As a whole, 10.5% of the entire operating budget goes to Toronto Police Service, the second highest after the TTC, which takes up 18% of that $10 billion.

City of Toronto

But the preliminary budget had a few missing pieces. In a supplementary City document, there was a 3-page list of items that were not included in the 2018 budget.

Lifeguards (listed as a transfer from Police), School Crossing Guard Program, TransformTO, John Tory’s new traffic wardens, and the newly passed two-hour transfer on transit are just a few of the major items that aren’t included in the budget.

These are certainly going to be factors for change in upcoming budget meetings, especially after Tory pledged to keep the city affordable. It’s also surprising, since, just this week, the Mayor said that he will be supporting time-based transfers for the TTC, investment in traffic measures, and fully funding the City’s TransformTO plan.


City of Toronto

But, as mentioned, this is a preliminary budget, so things are expected to change.

The City is also inviting public input for the development of the 2018 tax budget before it goes to City Council on February 12 and 13.

Public presentations will be taking place in January at Subcommittee meetings. These will take place at:

Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chamber
150 Borough Dr.
January 8, 3 pm and 6 pm

Etobicoke Civic Centre, Council Chamber
399 The West Mall
January 8, 3 pm and 6 pm

North York Civic Centre, Council Chamber
5100 Yonge St.
January 9, 3 pm and 6 pm

York Civic Centre, Council Chamber
2700 Eglinton Ave. W.
January 9, 3 pm and 6 pm

City Hall, Committee Room 1
100 Queen St. W.
January 10, 9:30 am and 6 pm

East York Civic Centre, Council Chamber
850 Coxwell Ave.
January 10, 3 pm and 6 pm

See also