[URBAN NOTE] "Toronto council approves 2 per cent property tax increase"
The Toronto Star's Jennifer Pagliaro reports on how the new Toronto budget comes with a 2% property tax increase, raising some funds but apparently not enough to keep various Toronto public services needed running.
With council poised to approve a budget Mayor John Tory said kept property taxes at “reasonable” rates, critics said they would have trouble sleeping with cuts impacting the city’s most vulnerable.
A council meeting went late Wednesday night as members debated a budget some called “fair” and others contended was “unsustainable.”
Council did earlier approve a residential property tax rate hike that totals 3.29 per cent, or $90 extra for the average homeowner.
An attempt to prevent the elimination of 10 front-line shelter staff positions — at a time when those havens are exceeding capacity targets and those who rely on them struggle to find more permanent housing — failed 19-25. The mayor and all but one of his executive members voted against it.
Councillor Joe Cressy moved a motion that council keep the 10 frontline positions, by voting to increase the 2017 operating budget for shelter, support and housing administration by just over $1 million, by pulling funding from a property tax stabilization reserve fund.