Toronto city’s budget chief warns of substantial hike in city’s property tax

Toronto Property Tax increase. Image credit: Unsplash

Toronto/CMEDIA: Toronto’s budget chief Coun. Shelley Carroll, appointed by Mayor Olivia Chow last year, warns of a substantial property tax increase with the city grappling with a looming fiscal crisis.

“We really have reached a point where if we’re having to solve our own problems, it means a substantial increase,” Carroll was reported saying. “We’re now being honest about what it takes to get the city you want.”

Toronto’s month and half long budget process which officially launches this week will be kicking off a series of public meetings at city hall and civic centres across Toronto with the Council ultimately voting on the final budget package on Feb. 14.

Although Carroll was reported saying that the City budget deficit topped $1.8 billion by November she did not provide specific figures on a proposed property tax increase acknowledging affordability as a key concern.

Despite signing a new deal with the province which will provide billions in relief over the next decade, the city still has on-going fiscal challenges. 

Apart from large property tax increases, Carroll was reported saying that Toronto still needs a revenue tool that grows with the economy, like a sales tax, and added that many COVID-19-related costs are becoming permanent fixtures in some city departments and that needs to be reflected in the budget.

“Recovery is about admitting this is the new financial picture that we’re in,” she said.