I hope 2024 is off to a great start for you and your families. The Ward 15 – Don Valley West team is hitting the ground running here at City Hall.
Earlier this month, City staff tabled their proposed $17 billion 2024 Operating Budget and $49.8 billion 2024-2033 Capital Budget and Plan. You can find more information on the City’s website, including the January 10 Budget Committee Launch Presentation.
My office has received many emails from Ward 15 residents with feedback on the 2024 Budget. Beginning in November 2023, residents were invited to participate in one of 16 different public consultation meetings – held both in-person and virtually – as well as through an online survey. After the Budget was launched, the City hosted a series of Telephone Town Halls throughout the month of January as well as Budget Committee Meetings across the city on January 22 and 23.
As many of you will already be aware, staff are proposing a 9.0% increase to the overall Residential Property Tax Rate, totalling 10.5% when combined with the planned City Building Fund increase – the highest single-year increase in Toronto’s history. City staff and the Budget Chief have indicated that this number could rise to 16.5% if the Federal government does not provide an additional $250 million to fund refugee services provided by the City.
I do not support the proposed property tax increase and will be voting against it at City Council. With the rising cost of living, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Torontonians to make ends meet. In past budget seasons, I have often spoken about the importance of taking a hard look at our City’s spending. While I understand that the City of Toronto continues to face complex financial challenges, City Council must do our part to re-evaluate spending priorities, focus on core service delivery, and find efficiencies at City Hall.