Mayor Rob Ford repeated his pledge Monday to come forward this week during budget approval with proposals to help save the city $50 million and help keep the tax increase low.
On Wednesday city council will begin the process of approving the 2014 budget.
Ford has repeatedly said he has ways to save the city money with little effect on services, but hasn't shared his suggestions with many at city hall, not even his own budget chief Frank DiGiorgio.
Ford defended his decision to wait until the last possible minute to share his ideas, saying it's better to allow all councillors to make a decision on his recommendations at the same time.
As it stands, the Executive Committee has rubber stamped a budget that comes with a 1.75% property tax increase which climbs to 2.23% when current value assesement is calculated, meaning the average homeowner with a home worth just under $500,000 would pay about $56 more in taxes this year compared to 2013.
But the Executive Committee voted to increase projected revenue from the land transfer tax in 2014 to make the budget numbers work, which Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says creates an unbalanced budget (about 8 million dollars short). The committee increased the land transfer tax projection above what staff had pencilled in.
Kelly would like to see the tax increase come in at 2.71% which would add an extra $68 to the tax bill of the average homeowner.
City staff had recommended a budget that rose taxes by 3.21% and increase of about $81 dollars on the average tax bill. That included putting money away in a weather reserve and money to help repair the tree canopy.