UPDATE: Executive committee backs 2.23% tax increase

If approved, would increase the average tax bill by $56

Next stop for Toronto's 2014 budget: city council.

On Wednesday, the city's executive committee approved a new taxation scheme for the year that would see property taxes on the average Toronto home go up by $56.

All in, the hike amounts to 2.23%. Councillors directly approved a 1.75% city hike, including a levy to fund the Scarborough subway extension. There is also a 0.48% hit mandated by the province in a move to transfer some tax burden from industrial customers to residential. Councillors have no control over that number.

City staff floated a tax increase of as much as 3.21% earlier in the day, but with some tweaking, councillors were able to bring it down.

The committee voted to expect greater revenue from the municipal share of the land transfer tax, the tax the mayor wants rolled back by 5% and eventually eliminated.

Councillor David Shiner doesn't think counting on more cash is risky, "We've never been short", he said after the vote.

Shiner also expects the city will finish the year with a surplus in the $100-million range because some city departments are understaffed.  He says if the city somehow comes in short on the land transfer tax take, the surplus can help make up the difference.

Rob Ford was the lone vote against the new spending plan. On Wednesday he repeated his assertion that he can come up with "well over $50-million" in savings.

Ford challenged city manager Joe Pennachetti about the number of managers and directors in a number of city departments. Pennachetti didn't have up-to-date statistics available, but said he would have them when council meets next.

Full council will debate the budget January 29th.  At that meeting, Ford plans to introduce a series of motions aimed at finding cost savings. He has suggested that contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge St and some care of Toronto's trees will be on his list. Ford has also hinted at a move to collect outstanding fines from the court system and libraries and staff cuts in a number of city departments. Ford says the changes would have little or no impact on service.

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  1. Ernie posted on 01/22/2014 01:51 PM
    "Staff floats" - Gee Mom and Dad - can I have.......But I Want it !
  2. fran posted on 01/22/2014 01:57 PM
    there milking the cow again
  3. Frankie posted on 01/22/2014 02:21 PM
    This city council is dysfunctional. We need someone with balls to go in and REALLY study expenses. There are billions being wasted and nobody has the guts (nor the support of the majority of council) to address the waste.

    Example - over a period of 5 days I watched 3 city workers tend to a tiny flower bed that any private gardener could have done with 1 other person in about an hour.

    We all know what needs to be done. Unfortunately these self-serving councillors and city management will never do anything that puts them out of a job or makes them work harder.

    I'd love to see a provincial gov't legislate a reduction in councillors to 22/23, the same number of ridings we have federally/provincially for a start.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 01/22/2014 03:28 PM
      @Frankie "I'd love to see a provincial gov't legislate a reduction in councillors to 22/23,.."
      Unfortunately with the people currently in power, that's only a pipe dream.
  4. john posted on 01/22/2014 03:37 PM
    make a list of all these people who will vote for it and not vote for them in the next elections . that what i am going to do .
    1. donny p. posted on 01/22/2014 04:20 PM
      @john How do you get to vote in every riding? You must be very stupid to post that thought.
  5. JC posted on 01/22/2014 04:50 PM
    cancel the Scarb subway immediately as a starter. we don't need Rob Fords tax hikes
    1. dama posted on 01/22/2014 07:02 PM
      @JC How could this 3% be Rob Ford;s tax? Where have you been? In a cave?

      Rob Ford wanted 1.75% and that includes the .25 for the Scarboro subway.. its the councillors that you should be shouting at.. and Denzil Minnan Wong.
  6. fran posted on 01/22/2014 10:29 PM
    this wong wong thinks city hall is his home
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 01/23/2014 09:26 AM
      @fran I am repeating this posting to the likes of Mr. Reality. Donny P***y, and Peter. I'm posting this here for all to see, because frankly, I'm really getting sick and tired of the premise that my opinions on Ford, or Toronto do not count because I do not live in the city. And that I'm not game enough to stand up to their posting. This is the latest talking point that seems to be permeating their small brains.

      Pardon my French, but who the hell are you to determine if my beliefs are from ideology. My beliefs are from experience- since I spent most of my hours, up until the middle of last year working in the downtown core. I delivered onsite IT services to professionals under the last few years of Millers, and a bit over a couple of years into Ford's term.
      I had to drive those roads going from site to site, especially during rush hour. I was stuck in traffic with bike lanes in place. I took subways, and the TTC where I could. I spent from 7 am in the morning till sometimes 9 p.m. at night working downtown. So at most, that would be as equal amount of time spent working downtown, as I did living in the suburbs.

      You all are the ignorant assholes (save Peter- for now). The people that commute downtown to work are a major part of the revenue stream that funds your city. Without us, you would not be as big as you are. I felt some of the changes Ford implemented when he came in. The removal of some of the bike lanes were the biggest relief. Because it meant shorter travel time, less billable/travel time charged to customers, which meant more satisfied customers overall.
      My reasons for leaving the work environment downtown are personal, and I will not delve into that. But as for my opinions, they solidly come from experience- not some sort of ideology.

      Although, I can probably accuse you of the same thing. Because all of you, when you respond to my comments, sometimes the language is VERY similar, the insults are degrading but pretty much the same, and you all seem to arrive at the same talking point. And this is an excellent example of that- all of you coming together (more like ganging up) to say that my opinions do not count because I don't live in the city.

      But let's take it from another angle, that would destroy your premise. You say that outsiders' opinions don't count. But yet you take seriously the opinions of those that believe that Ford is an embarrassment, or you keep being asked 'how is that crack mayor doing?'. Or when the late night circuit uses Toronto as a punching bag because of the Ford coverage, you are all wringing your hands in panic. So which is it?
      Is it that the outside opinion of others only count, when it supports your premise- or should it be the same throughout?

      Be careful when you answer- wouldn't want you all to cause self-injury trying to respond to that one without being guilty of promoting yet another double-standard.
      Also, if you answer and you continue being a dick, don't expect me to answer. My time is precious to me, and I neither have the energy, or the patience entertaining a company of fools.
  7. john posted on 01/24/2014 12:31 PM
    lets get this sr8 for all u misguided fools out there .

    1th ford dos not agree with the increase in tax .

    2nd he has no powers anymore cause thay illegally striped him of his power . so he cant stop the process . if he could he would . raising taxes is not way to run a big city with 2 million people .

    3rd the liberal government owes us over 1 billion . for the gas plaint scandal .
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