AUDIO: New budget chief wants to freeze taxes, cut land transfer
City Hall's new budget chief has barely been on the job a few hours but his work is already cut out for him.
Councillor Frank Di Giorgio says he aims to freeze property taxes and flat-line department budgets in the city's 2014 budget and will try to cut the land transfer tax by up to 10 percent.
"Everything is realistic, in the sense that we can look at whether there is flexibility to do that kind of thing," says Di Giorgio.
Mayor Rob Ford says he is on-board with his new budget chief's goals.
However, at least one city councillor disagrees.
“Effectively, he’s telling Torontonians that he is going to impose an as-yet undisclosed cut of about $60 million to the services that make the city worth living in," says Councillor Gord Perks.
He adds that believes Di Giorgio was picked as Mayor Ford's new budget chair because he is the only candidate that would not have to be endorsed by by council and the mayor's executive committee before being allowed to take the job.
Perks questioned whether Ford has the support at City Hall to win both of those votes.
The York-South Weston Councillor Frank Di Giorgio was nominated by Mayor Rob Ford and appointed by unanimous vote of his executive committee on Tuesday morning.
Listeners to NEWSTALK 1010's The City already know that Di Giogio was Ford's first choice, giving him a ringing endorsement on Sunday's show.
"He's doing a great job and I want to hopefully make (him) the budget chief but I just have to talk to a few more people," Ford said.
At Tuesday's Executive meeting, the mayor pointed to Di Giorgio's experience in the business world, his time as a teacher and as a high school football coach as reasons for picking the veteran municipal politician.
Ford says that background will make the Ward 12 councillor a perfect fit to chair the city's budget committee.
Di Giorgio, who has served on the budget committee since 2010, acknowledged that the job is a thankless one.
He takes the budget reigns from Councillor Mike Del Grande, who stepped down a few weeks ago.