In 2021 our office partnered with a Canadian company, Ethelo, to create a budget simulation exercise called Citizen Budget gathering public feedback on the City of Toronto’s annual budget. The purpose of this program was to show residents where their tax dollars are being spent and allow them to increase or decrease the levels of service provided by the City. In addition, the program allowed residents to see how these changes in service levels would raise or lower their taxes. The process educated residents on the City’s various services while asking them to provide feedback based on the City’s current service levels and budget.
The interactive budgeting tool ran from January 26 to February 19, 2021, and received 424 visitors, 170 respondents, and 3,338 page views. Here’s a summary of key participant feedback: