JOE PANTALONE’S PLAN
FOR A SUSTAINABLE CITY BUDGET
ENCOURAGING INNOVATION & EFFICIENCY
CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT FOR PROSPERITY & GROWTH
PROTECTING OUR MOST VULNERABLE RESIDENTS
WELCOMING PEOPLE INTO DECISION-MAKING
LEADING OUR CITY TO FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY
Good government is built on honesty.
We have to be honest about Toronto’s f inances. George Smitherman and Rob Ford spin apocalyptic tales
of a city being led over the brink by a corrupt and indulgent Council. They sometimes make for good
headlines, but are at odds with most people’s experience of this great and vibrant city.
The public deserves the facts.
Every year since amalgamation (the administrations of Mel Lastman and David Miller) City Council has...
• ...found new eff iciencies
• ...delivered balanced budgets
• ...maintained the lowest residential property tax rate in the GTA
• ...steadily reduced taxes on our growing small businesses
• ...continued delivering services that are the envy of the region and world
Much accomplished, much to do.
But challenges remain. The City is still saddled by the downloading of Provincial services, transit funding
has yet to return to pre-Harris levels, and when the federal government mulls cuts to provincial transfers,
cities are likely not far behind.
Toronto’s next Mayor needs to make f inancial sustainability a priority, but must also protect the services
which people expect from their government. Joe Pantalone’s opponents offer an impatient and half-baked
solution: tax cuts and tax freezes.
Cut revenues means cut service.
Torontonians know that.
In any large organization there is always ineff iciency to be found and f ixed. But government’s true role
is creating conditions for success, building liveable communities, and helping those in need. That’s the
difference between spending and investing. And a Mayor who understands that is the difference between
a city that slowly crumbles and a city that continues to thrive.
Fiscal Plan for Toronto.
• Continue to deliver balanced budgets by keeping costs down, and identifying opportunities for savings
in each annual budget process.
• Maintain the City’s AA+ credit rating by carefully managing and paying down debt as we complete the
City’s $25 billion 10-year capital plan.
• Provide predictable, moderate tax increases, if required, as part of multi-year budgets, f ixed inf lation
at 2.5% on residential and 0.833% or less on business.
• Continue to reduce tax rates on business and rental properties.
• Phase out the regressive Vehicle Registration Tax.
• Call for a Toronto-Ontario Summit to negotiate a long-term funding strategy for the TTC. Once
completed, the City will be able to plan for multi-year budgets. A true 50 percent cost-share on the
day-to-day costs of transit would be approximately $250 million annually. And a capital agreement to
fund the full Transit City plan should be negotiated.
• Implement a multi-year fare plan to make increases predictable, while providing funding to maintain
service levels as ridership increases. Public transit riders are willing to pay for service improvements,
but can’t afford massive increases that arrive without warning.
• Complete the upload of social services to the Province. The City can’t continue to subsidize the
Province for programs like court services, welfare, and disability support plans and still balance the
• Allow Toronto’s four Community Councils to have direct control over some aspects of spending. Budgets
for local initiatives within economic development, parks and recreation, and licensing investigations
will be made in partnership with Community Council.
• Create a Mayor ’s Council to invite the insight and experience of leaders in business, the arts, labour,
and community engagement.
• Host regular town halls at rotating locations across the city, including pre-budget hearings to set
priorities and collect ideas for innovation and eff iciency.
• Webcast Council Committees in real time, so you can be up-to-date on decisions that affect your
community. Allow the public to interact with committee members online.
2011 Fiscal Plan
STARTING PRESSURE $503M
+ JOE’S PROMISES $22M
+ REVENUE LOSS
• PVT $16M
• Senior ’s Tax Freeze
REVISED STARTING PRESSURE $541M
- 2009 SURPLUS $76M
- 2010 SURPLUS $180M
- ASSESSMENT GROWTH $35M
- SERVICE EFFICIENCIES $85M
- REDUCTION IN CAPITAL FROM OPERATING $35M
- STRATEGIC LAND SALE /REVENUE FROM BUILD $75M
REMAINING PRESSURE BEFORE TAX INCREASE $55M
PROPERTY TAX INCREASE OF 2.5% RESIDENTIAL / 0.833% BUSINESS $55M
REMAINING PRESSURE 0