Toronto faces 47% property tax increase to maintain services if $1.5B budget gap isn’t filled, mayor says

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Toronto Mayor John Tory has made another dire plea for financial support from the upper levels of government, warning if the City doesn’t receive help filling a minimum $1.5-billion budget hole major cuts or property tax increases will be needed.

“Without immediate support, our city – like many other cities across Canada – is facing unprecedented cuts that will hurt the city and every person and business that the federal and provincial governments have spent billions trying to help in the wake of COVID-19,” he told reporters Friday afternoon.

“As the year goes on, we also have to plan for what would happen if that support doesn’t come and due to the magnitude of the problem almost every service would suffer.”

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Tory said under the law and in comparison to the provincial and federal governments, the municipality is limited in taxation powers and it cannot run deficits.

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“We cannot slash services right now nor can we massively raise taxes mid-year to help cover these costs,” he said.

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“It would take a 47 per cent hike in property taxes to raise $1.5 billion – that is just not practical or fair to taxpayers.”

In the absence of a massive property tax hike,

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