City council has rubber stamped a property tax hike that is part of a $13.53 billion 2020 operating budget council is debating on Wednesday.
The two percent property tax hike was passed by a vote of 21-3 and is part of an overall 4.24 per cent increase which includes a 1.5 per cent increase in the city building levy that was approved back in December. It means the average Toronto homeowner will see an increase of $128 on a home that is valued at $700,000.
Mayor John Tory says while they are mindful of the impact that tax will have on some residents, the money collected will go towards the priorities Torontonians have been asking for.
“We are making investments in key areas that we know people want us and need us to invest in. They’ve told us that very clearly during the election campaign and that includes transit, community safety, the environment and affordable housing and kids and families,” said Tory.
Among the budget priorities is the hiring of 300 police officers, 121 TTC operators and 62 more paramedics.
There is also $77-million gap in the city budget for refugee housing which Tory believes is the federal government’s responsibility and he said he is confident they will cover that cost.