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Countdown to Zero:
Balancing Toronto’s 2012 Budget
                 November 17, 2011


                    Sheila Block
     Director of Economic Analysis, Wellesley Institute


                    November 17, 2011
Countdown to Zero:
                           Two Questions

• Is the City in a financial crisis?



• Are cutbacks to services and asset sales
  necessary to balance the budget?



November 17, 2011 |
                                              2
www.wellesleyinstitute.com
Opening budgetary pressures:
                         2007- 2012
               900


               800
                                           821
                                                         774
               700
                                                  706
                                    679
               600
                             615
               500   562
($ Millions)




               400


               300


               200


               100


                 0
                     2007    2008   2009   2010   2011   2012



November 17, 2011 |
                                                                3
www.wellesleyinstitute.com
What is and isn’t different this
                   year?
Different
• Unlikely federal, provincial governments will step in
• Property tax rate freeze + cancellation of the
  Personal Vehicle Tax = $132 million in lost revenue

Not different
• City is obligated by law to balance its operating
  budget
• Budget process is about eliminating the “operating
  shortfall” - gap between next year’s expenditures
  and this year’s revenues
November 17, 2011 |
                                                          4
www.wellesleyinstitute.com
What are the Mayor’s solutions to
      address the shortfall?
Service review program
      • Core services review results:
             o90% of City services are “core”
             o8% of City services are “traditional”


10% across the board cuts

Other solutions?
November 17, 2011 |
                                                      5
www.wellesleyinstitute.com
How have we handled the budget
        shortfall before?
                             91                Prior year surplus

                                       181     Funding from other levels of
             37                                government
                                               Cost cutting measures

                                               Increased municipal revenues

                                               Reserve
       134
                                               Property taxes


                                             *Figures are 2007-2011
                                       135
                                                    Average
 ($ Millions)                     98

November 17, 2011 |
                                                                              6
www.wellesleyinstitute.com
How can we get Toronto’s budget
                            shortfall to zero?
               900
                                                                                            Measures that bring
                        774                                                                 the $774 million
               800                                                                          shortfall down to zero:
                                                                                             Opening operating shortfall
               700
                                                                                             Adjustment to salary and benefit cost increases
                              -100
               600                                                                           Prior year surplus
($ Millions)




                                                                                             TTC fare increase
               500

                                     -181                                                    Tax stabilization fund
               400                          -30
                                                                                             2 Year normal property tax increase
                                                  -88
               300                                                                           Assessment growth


                                                                                             Municipal Land Transfer Tax growth
               200                                      -136
                                                               -30                           Other revenues
                                                                     -25
               100
                                                                           -46         41    Cost reductions


                 0
                                                                                 -98         Remaining Shortfall


               November 17, 2011 |
                                                                                                                                   7
               www.wellesleyinstitute.com
Conclusions
• Councillors have choices
• Scale and scope of this year’s shortfall is no
  different than other years
• No need for drastic cuts to balance this year’s
  budget




November 17, 2011 |
                                                    8
www.wellesleyinstitute.com

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Countdown to Zero: Balancing Toronto's Budget

  • 1. Countdown to Zero: Balancing Toronto’s 2012 Budget November 17, 2011 Sheila Block Director of Economic Analysis, Wellesley Institute November 17, 2011
  • 2. Countdown to Zero: Two Questions • Is the City in a financial crisis? • Are cutbacks to services and asset sales necessary to balance the budget? November 17, 2011 | 2 www.wellesleyinstitute.com
  • 3. Opening budgetary pressures: 2007- 2012 900 800 821 774 700 706 679 600 615 500 562 ($ Millions) 400 300 200 100 0 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 November 17, 2011 | 3 www.wellesleyinstitute.com
  • 4. What is and isn’t different this year? Different • Unlikely federal, provincial governments will step in • Property tax rate freeze + cancellation of the Personal Vehicle Tax = $132 million in lost revenue Not different • City is obligated by law to balance its operating budget • Budget process is about eliminating the “operating shortfall” - gap between next year’s expenditures and this year’s revenues November 17, 2011 | 4 www.wellesleyinstitute.com
  • 5. What are the Mayor’s solutions to address the shortfall? Service review program • Core services review results: o90% of City services are “core” o8% of City services are “traditional” 10% across the board cuts Other solutions? November 17, 2011 | 5 www.wellesleyinstitute.com
  • 6. How have we handled the budget shortfall before? 91 Prior year surplus 181 Funding from other levels of 37 government Cost cutting measures Increased municipal revenues Reserve 134 Property taxes *Figures are 2007-2011 135 Average ($ Millions) 98 November 17, 2011 | 6 www.wellesleyinstitute.com
  • 7. How can we get Toronto’s budget shortfall to zero? 900 Measures that bring 774 the $774 million 800 shortfall down to zero: Opening operating shortfall 700 Adjustment to salary and benefit cost increases -100 600 Prior year surplus ($ Millions) TTC fare increase 500 -181 Tax stabilization fund 400 -30 2 Year normal property tax increase -88 300 Assessment growth Municipal Land Transfer Tax growth 200 -136 -30 Other revenues -25 100 -46 41 Cost reductions 0 -98 Remaining Shortfall November 17, 2011 | 7 www.wellesleyinstitute.com
  • 8. Conclusions • Councillors have choices • Scale and scope of this year’s shortfall is no different than other years • No need for drastic cuts to balance this year’s budget November 17, 2011 | 8 www.wellesleyinstitute.com