Councillor canvasses budget feedback

East Yorker Michael Polyani makes a point at the budget consultation meeting held by Councillor Janet Davis. (Photo by Rajesh Sammy)
East Yorker Michael Polanyi makes a point at the budget consultation meeting held by Councillor Janet Davis. (Photo by Rajesh Sammy) (DavisBudget)

When Janet Davis, the councillor for Ward 31/Beaches-East York, asked how many people in the audience would support a tax hike of more than 2.5 per cent, more than half of her listeners put their hands up.

Councillor Davis held her annual city budget consultation last week at the Stan Wadlow Clubhouse on Cedarvale Avenue. Alongside Stephen Conforti from the city’s financial planning office, Davis explained the pros and cons of the newly announced city budget.

One of the issues plaguing city hall, according to Conforti, is “the loss of the pooling compensation of around $150 million over three years in funding that we are no longer receiving from the province.”

A proposed solution to the loss of this income for the city is a two per cent residential property tax increase just to balance the budget.  The city would then have to add an additional 0.5 per cent to help fund the proposed Scarborough subway.

“It’s important for all residents of the City of Toronto to understand what services the city provides, and what budgets supports those services,” Davis said.

“How do you balance a budget when you have a lot of demands on services and not enough money to pay it?  said Paula Davies, one of those in attendance. “How do you do it in your own family? You just can’t keep accumulating debt. So if you come to things (meetings) like this, you can help to direct how things will happen.”

Councillor Davis asked residents to take some time and go to toronto.ca to see the new simplified document for the city’s budget.  The government has made it easier for all residents to understand the break down of where there taxes are divided in the city’s budget.