Today Toronto Approves 2011 Operating Budget That was Balanced

Today Toronto Approves 2011 Operating Budget That was Balanced

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Revised News Release

February, 24, 2011

Toronto City Council Approves 2011 Budget

Today Toronto City Council approves a 2011 Operating Budget that is balanced, includes no major service cuts, and does not include increases to property tax rates. The City’s total 2011 budget for Operating, Capital and Rate Supported services is $13.326 billion.

“Our core priorities for the City of Toronto are to improve customer service, be more transparent and accountable, and reduce the size and cost of government. This budget supports the priorities of the taxpayers of Toronto,” said Mayor Rob Ford.

The approved 2011 Operating Budget is $9.383 billion and is 38 per cent funded by property tax revenues totalling $3.579 billion. The budget maintains services at 2010 levels.

Estimates of capital spending for the tax supported 10 year 2011-2020 Capital Plan total $12.755 billion. The 2011 Capital Budget, which is year one of the Plan, is $2.016 billion. Capital expenditures to maintain and renew the City’s substantive infrastructure total $7.270 billion, representing 57.4 per cent of the total 2011-2020 Capital Budget and Plan.

The rate supported budgets include Toronto Water, Solid Waste Management Services  and the Toronto Parking Authority. The 2011 Toronto Water Operating Budget is $821 million, the Capital Budget is $560 million and the 2011-2020 Capital Plan is $8.628 billion. These funds will be used over the next 10 years (2011-2020) on work such as the city-wide District Watermain and Sewer Replacement project, rehabilitation projects, reducing basement flooding, the Wet Weather Flow Master Plan and the Water Metering Program.

The 2011 Water rate increase is nine per cent for residential or $56 per year, and between 7.16 per cent and 7.57 per cent for industrial, depending on the consumption. The daily cost for all residential water, wastewater and stormwater services is $1.85 per day. This is an increase of 16 cents per household per day for 2011.

The 2011 rate supported Operating Budget for Solid Waste Management Services is $343 million with a Capital Budget of $98 million and a 10 year Capital Plan of $469 million. The 2011-2020 Capital Plan pays for projects such as the Source Separated Organics processing facility at Disco Yard; the design and construction of reuse and recycling centres; the Green Lane development, control systems and buffer land acquisition; perpetual care of old landfills including control systems; and transfer station and collection yard preventative asset management.

The 2011 rate increase for Solid Waste Management Services is 3 per cent, which represents an increase of $6 – 12 per household per year, depending on the size of bin used, or less than $1 per month for the average Toronto household.

“I want to thank Councillors for appreciating the need to debate and approve the 2011 budget in an expedited manner,” said Budget Chief, Councillor Mike Del Grande. “Now it’s time to do the heavy lifting and get to work on the next budget.”

“We met the Mayor’s budget directions. The 2011 Operating Budget was balanced with no property tax increase on residents or businesses,” said City Manager, Joe Pennachetti.

“The 2011 budget was balanced primarily because the economy is performing better than we expected. In 2010, we generated a significant surplus because of this and we have forecasted significant revenue growth into 2011. Along with spending restraints these were the two keys in balancing the budget for 2011,” said Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer Cam Weldon.

In December, Council approved a 2011 budget process and schedule designed to develop, review and adopt both operating and capital budgets by February 28, 2011. Mayor Rob Ford asked for a 2011 budget that is balanced and contains no unfunded gaps; is not greater than the approved 2010 Operating Budget; produces a zero per cent residential property tax increase; and includes no major service cuts.

While emphasis is placed on maintaining and protecting the City’s existing infrastructure and physical assets, the 2011-2020 Capital Budget and Plan also invests $4.999 billion over 10 years in strategic and priority service improvement and growth related projects to accommodate increasing service demands and growth.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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