Toronto City Council has approved a balanced 2014 Tax Supported Operating Budget that makes significant investments in key strategic priorities for the City’s future. The Budget continues to strengthen the City’s fiscal health and for the second year in a row, the Budget was balanced without the use of the prior year’s surplus.
The passing of this year’s budget is the culmination of months of work by City Staff, my fellow members of the Budget Committee and City Council and reflects input received from residents all across Toronto.
The 2014 Operating Budget includes a 1.73% property tax increase for residential properties plus a 0.5% increase for the construction of the new Scarborough subway. The overall tax increase of this year’s budget is below the rate of inflation and keeps Toronto’s residential property taxes as the lowest in the GTA.
The budget maintains all current programs and services with further investments in:
- More front-line paramedics and additional fire prevention officers, andÂ re-starting the hiring of new police officers
- Expansion of the Student Nutrition Program
- Increased child care spaces
- New recreation centres, additional recreation youth spaces and priority centres
- New libraries and expanded library hours
- Additional $12 million in funding to meet public transit/TTC growth needs
- Extra resources for City Planning
City Council also approved a Capital Budget and the 10-Year Capital Plan continues to advance the City’s long-term fiscal plan objectives and focuses on infrastructure rehabilitation. It includes funds for the Scarborough Subwa; road resurfacing and reconstruction and key capital projects to address traffic congestion; repairing and maintaining the Gardiner Expressway; and addressing TTC ridership growth, as well as repairing infrastructure and replacing aging subway and streetcars.