As City of Toronto keeps property taxes low, mayor pushes transit agenda

10:48 a.m., Feb. 13, 2018. Mayor John Tory speaks at the TTC control centre the morning after the budget is passed, in front of a television broadcasting him speaking at the same press conference. (Right: TTC Chair Josh Colle)
10:48 a.m., Feb. 13, 2018. Mayor John Tory speaks at the TTC control centre the morning after the budget is passed, in front of a television broadcasting him speaking at the same press conference. (Right: TTC Chair Josh Colle)

Feb. 13, 2018

Toronto City Council passed its 2018 budget on Monday night, with the aim of raising $4,230,920,439 (4.2 billion) in property taxes from residential, commercial, industrial, and other property owners.

Residential property taxes were raised at a rate of 2.1 per cent. The city said it will result in a tax increase of $82.10 on the average house, which is assessed at $624,418 in 2018.

A statement from the mayor’s office said this is the fourth year under his administration that property taxes are being kept at or below the rate of inflation.

On Wednesday morning at TTC transit control centre, Mayor John Tory told reporters he understands the city has problems such as homelessness and affordable housing that require investment over time, but was overall pleased with the final budget.

“[The] challenge in a system, especially one without political parties, and where you have 45 members of council… to try and achieve a balance that is not only acceptable to the majority of council but is also acceptable to the people of Toronto – I think we did that.”

Tory said following council’s passing of the city’s budget he will be “stepping up the pace of [his] advocacy to the provincial parties” to address the city’s transit needs.

“I’m going to have to be pressing very hard to the leaders of all the parties, as I’ve said I would, and I’ve raised it with them before, but now’s the time they’re going to have to answer up,” he said. ”And they’re going to have to say either yes or no. They’re [either] going to provide the support to the Toronto Transit Commission for our regional transit needs serving both 905 and 416, or they’re not.

“I think if they say no they’re not, or if they’re uncertain about that, the voters will exact a price for that. Because they know we need to make those investments – we needed to make them 10 years ago but we certainly need to make them now, and I plan to do that and I need to have their help to make it happen.”