2012 Toronto Budget

Rob Ford reveals draft of 2012 Toronto budget

The 2012 Toronto budget was released today — or at least a staff recommended draft that will require the approval of city council when it convenes on January 19th. In a somewhat self-congratulatory and predictable speech to introduce the document, Mayor Rob Ford cited (on numerous occasions) his belief that the budget represents the first major step toward rebuilding Toronto's fiscal foundation.

"The people of Toronto have been very clear about what they want," Ford said at a press conference this morning. "First and foremost, they want us to stop the waste, to reduce city expenses and to hold the line on taxes. They know we face difficult decisions. They expect us to be tough enough to make them."

So what kind of tough decisions are manifest in this budget? Here are some of the highlights:

  • decrease City of Toronto workforce by roughly 2300 employees
  • 10 cent TTC fare hike (and service "adjustments")
  • 2.5% property tax increase
  • Reductions to Toronto Public Library hours and acquisitions
  • Defer hiring of police (236 officers), EMS (36 paramedics), and firefighters (68)
  • 5 wading pools and 2 outdoor pools to be closed
  • "Non-core, non-provincially mandated" homeless shelters (Downsview Dells, Birchwood and Bellwoods) to be closed over 2 years
  • 138 arts programs and projects to be cut
  • 10 of 22 stand-alone arenas to be closed during off-peak hours through the week
  • WinterCity programming to be eliminated

$83 million will be drawn from reserves to balance the 2012 budget, though none of that will come from the 2011 surplus. While the big and scary $774 shortfall for 2012 is referenced a number of times in the budgetary draft, after adjustments, this number finally comes in at $258 million.

Public deputations on this budget will take place on December 7th and 8th, leading into an executive meeting on January 12th before a finalized document goes to city council for a vote on the 19th.

So, what do you think? Are there any surprises here?

See the embedded document below for more details on the budget.

2012 Toronto Budget Draft

Photo by ~EvidenceE~ in the blogTO Flickr pool


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