A special message from Mayor Rob Ford

On January 19, 2012, City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had issued the message that has been noted below to residents and businesses, including the Toronto Real Estate Board. It has been provided for your information.

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Rob Ford
Dear Friends,

Yesterday marked an historic moment for Toronto taxpayers with City Council’s approval of the 2012 Budget. For the first time ever, the City of Toronto will spend less this year than it did the year before.

The 2012 Budget has laid the fiscal foundation for 2013 and onwards. A clear message was delivered to City Hall following the 2010 municipal election. Residents in Toronto overwhelmingly supported candidates who ran on fiscally responsible platforms, making government more accountable and running the City more efficiently.

On January 12, Executive Committee heard the message of voters and endorsed the 2012 Budget. Recommended measures to improving Toronto’s fiscal situation included allocating $154 million to TTC capital projects, a 2.5% property tax increase and holding the line on revenue estimates.

The 2012 Budget was balanced through:

•$271 million in budget reductions and efficiencies
•$56 million in service level adjustments
•$327 million in increased revenue
The 2012 Budget has reduced the City’s reliance on one time revenue to cover costs from $327 million to $102 million. The modest property tax increase of 2.5% is the lowest rate of increase since 2001 and, of course, last year there was no property tax increase at all. This Budget puts Toronto on a stronger and sustainable fiscal path for future budgets. Even with additional budget items being approved, the City has reduced spending by just over $271 million and just over 1,000 positions have been eliminated from the City’s workforce. The TTC will now receive $135 million for the purchase of streetcars, subways cars and busses and $5 million for operating costs.

Council traditionally makes recommendations to tweak and make small adjustments to budgets. The Council recommendations to the 2012 Budget are relatively minor considering the City’s operating Budget is $9.4 billion. Unfortunately we will still be having some of the same discussions next year because the 2013 opening budget pressure is now $200 million. Nevertheless, this is a major reduction from the $770 million dollar pressure we were facing at the beginning of 2011.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is an incredibly significant achievement.

I want to thank you all for your support during this budgetary process. You elected me to fix the City’s fiscal foundation and return respect for taxpayers as a core value to City Hall. This Budget achieves just that.

Yours truly,

Mayor Rob Ford