New smaller Toronto city council costing more than the previous one
One of Toronto's executive committees will be meeting today to discuss the city budget.
In the discussion that takes place, the members of the committee will determine whether to raise property taxes, the cost of your water bill, and the fees for garbage collection.
Mayor John Tory campaigned on a promise to keep tax increases equal to or lower than the rate of inflation, making 2019's potential increase about 2.55 per cent.
However, the historic event that hangs over any discussion of the city's budget is the cuts to City Council last year.
When Premier Doug Ford slashed the number of councillors to 25 from 47, it was said to be a way of cutting costs.
It seems, however, that sentiment was lost. It's been shown now that the smaller council is actually costing more than the original 47-seater.
Doug Ford was the first premier in Ontario's history to use the notwithstanding clause to cut Toronto's city council for "cost efficiencies". This move by Ontario's conservative party has cost Ontarians an extra $1.446-million for 19 fewer councillors. 💰🔥 @FordNation #ONPoli pic.twitter.com/wvmG806sCS— Tyler Watt 🇨🇦 (@tylerwhat16) March 3, 2019
City Council has had to double its operating budget to manage larger wards, and that increase was approved by council in December.
The vote increased the amount of money each councillor could spend on staff by about $482,000. Under the old system with 44 seats, each councillor could spend $241,000.
The increase in spending allowance has actually ended up making Toronto's operating budget much higher than it was originally, flying in the face of the Premier's cost-saving efficiencies promise.
If today's tax increases go as expected, the average Torontonian will be paying a bit more for garbage removal, water, and property taxes. The vote will then head to city council for a final approval or rejection on Thursday.
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