Yesterday, the City of Toronto launched its 2022 Budget process to review this year’s staff-recommended tax-supported operating and capital budgets. These budgets will be considered and debated by the City’s Budget and Executive Committees over the next month before being finalized and approved by City Council at its meeting on February 17, 2022.
Totalling $14.99 billion, the staff-recommended tax-supported operating budget includes $1.96 billion for rate-supported operating budgets, which were approved by Council on December 15, 2021. As part of the continued response to COVID-19, these figures preserve existing services levels and contain $1.4 billion in relief funding that requires the continued support of other levels of government. Similar to past years, the City’s Chief Financial Officer, Heather Taylor, indicated at today’s meeting there would be “significant” cuts if this downstream funding is not secured. Further, the 2023 opening shortfall is estimated to be between $1.3 to $1.7 billion, indicating that the COVID-19 response remains a large cost to the city.
The total proposed tax-supported 10-year capital budget and plan amounts to $46.58 billion, including the $16.05 billion rate-supported capital budgets approved by City Council in December 2021. Funding is earmarked for climate action investments as well as for strategic areas such as mobility, housing and modernization. New this year, the City’s staff-recommended budgets were developed using a climate lens with $15.5 billion of the budget including components to support greenhouse gas reduction and improve climate resilience.
In terms of increases, there is a proposed overall average budgetary increase of 2.11%. There will be a property tax base increase of 2.9% plus 1.5% earmarked for the city-building fund (which helps pay for housing and transit projects). Additionally, there is a 1.45% increase for commercial properties and a 0.97% increase for industrial properties. There will be no increase for multi-residential or apartment buildings, as per provincial legislation. New for 2022 is the City Council-approved 15% rate reduction for small businesses.
As part of this broader budget process, there will be opportunities for industry stakeholders to share their feedback. Should you be interested in making a presentation or providing a written submission, please contact us for further information and assistance. With 2022 municipal elections just around the corner, these budget processes can help to shed some light and frame some of the various priorities that could become larger election issues. Keeping abreast of these discussions are paramount. Some key dates are as follows:
Don’t hesitate to contact our Municipal team should you have any questions or require more information.
Jamie Besner, Managing Partner
Angela Drennan, Vice President and Municipal Practice Lead
Tristan Downe-Dewdney, Senior Associate
Lauren Goethel, Associate
Sophie Rusen, Junior Research Analyst