Executive Committee unanimously approves Toronto's 2020 budget

Feb 14 2020, 9:21 am

The 2020 city budget is relying heavily on federal government support as it heads to city council next week for final approval.

Mayor John Tory’s Executive Committee signed off on the budget on Thursday which looked at recommendations from the Budget Committee on the 2020 Capital and Operating Budgets, his office confirmed.

Tory’s office also noted that while the executive committee adopted the budget some amendments were made for 2020 property tax rates and various items within the budget.

Tory is banking on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau helping fill in a $77 million gap in this year’s budget, but the funding has yet to be guaranteed in the upcoming federal budget.

The city is hoping the $77 million assistance will help with sheltering initiatives for refugees in the city.

Toronto budget

Funding for refugee housing / City of Toronto

There are also new investments in the report which include, $5.9 million in climate change initiatives, $27.8 million for safety and security measures and $15.3 million for poverty reduction.

Tory also highlighted that for the first time funding will go towards the $1.5 billion Bloor-Yonge Station expansion.

The $13.53 billion operating budget includes $11.59 billion that’s largely supported by the city’s property tax. The rest is supported by fees for water, garbage collection, and parking.

A significant portion of the operating budget will go towards social programs like child care and public health initiatives. The TTC is also a high priority for the city, with the operating budget contributing about $80 million for public transit.

There will also be a 2% property tax increase costing the average homeowner an additional $61 in 2020, which actually goes up to $106 when adding in the 1.5% increase to the city building levy that was approved by council last month.

Staff say overall, 73% of property tax bills go towards public safety, mobility, and city building.

For the long term 10-year plan, the budget outlines significant investment in public transit, committing $13.2 billion to updates and repairs.

The budget is heading to city council for final approval on February 19.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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