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February 19, 2016 – Councillor does not support overall budget increase in

I could not support the overall City of Toronto’s 2016 Budget because it did not fully address the needs of Torontonians and residents of his community.

Toronto City Council approved a $10.1 billion operating budget for 2016 and 10-year capital budget and plan of $21 billion. The total municipal tax increase is 2.69% or $72.26 per residence. What that means for residents of Ward 39 and other Torontonians causes me concern.

The tax increase is comprised of a 1.3 % increase for residential properties, plus 0.6 % to help pay for the yet-to-be-built Scarborough subway. The average house assessed at $549,586 will incur municipal property taxes of $2,748 for 2016. The total tax increase for non-residential properties, which includes rental apartments, is -0.17%.

In Ward 39, where some homes are appraised at twice this amount, this could spell an even higher increase. For seniors and other residents of Toronto, who live on fixed incomes, this will present an overwhelming financial hardship. Higher water rates and garbage collection rates and no talk of a Sheppard Subway made the overall budget difficult to support.