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Navigating Toronto’s Fiscal Landscape: Unveiling the 2024 Budget and Property Tax Dynamics

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The Nation Post

In a dramatic turn of events for Toronto homeowners, the city is bracing for a substantial property tax hike of 10.5 per cent in 2024, marking the most significant increase in years. Budget chief Shelley Carroll unveiled this staggering proposal, attributing the rise to the initial draft of Mayor Olivia Chow’s inaugural budget.

The 2024 budget outlines a nine per cent surge in property taxes, coupled with a 1.5 per cent uptick in the City Building Fund, supporting vital projects such as transit and housing. On average, Toronto households are anticipated to bear an additional burden of $30 per month. Carroll clarified that the budget process commenced with a daunting $1.8 billion operating shortfall due to prolonged underinvestment in city services.

Despite the financial challenges, the proposed budget allocates resources to key areas identified during pre-budget consultations involving over 10,000 residents in November 2023. Investments are slated for transit, housing, and community safety, demonstrating a commitment to addressing longstanding civic concerns.

Carroll highlighted diligent efforts to identify over $600 million in cost savings, and the positive impact of the New Deal brokered between the provincial government and Mayor Chow, securing nearly $400 million in operating funding for 2024. The budget also features an augmented police budget, expansion of the Toronto Community Crisis Service, and a TTC fare freeze.

However, the city is anxiously awaiting a decision from the federal government regarding $250 million crucial to supporting refugees in Toronto’s shelter system. Should the funds not materialize by the Budget Committee’s conclusion on Jan. 26, Carroll warned of a potential 6 per cent federal impacts levy.

As the budget journey unfolds, Toronto residents are encouraged to engage in discussions through presentations, deputations, and telephone town halls with Mayor Chow. Carroll emphasized the budget’s foundation in genuine community conversations, underscoring the importance of ongoing dialogue in the coming weeks. The city council is slated to cast its vote on the budget in February, determining the fiscal trajectory for the year ahead.

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