While Toronto looks to rebuild and recover from the pandemic, ongoing conversations about the budget are critical to ensuring that no one is left behind. Now, more than ever, we have to be specific about how we direct our finances. How can we make sustainable investments for our future? How can we help take care of ourselves and each other? Successful community revitalization is one where both the physical infrastructure and social development receive equal commitment and focus. Looking towards the future, this is how we can make our priorities known. While the 2020 budget passed at City Council in February, conversations about the budget must be ongoing. 

What is the City Budget

The City of Toronto budget is determined annually. There are three parts of the city budget: Rate Supported, Operating, and Capital. Both the Operating and Capital are built from tax dollars and financial subsidies from the Provincial and Federal governments. The Operating and Capital budgets fund City services, programs, and infrastructure and are approved by City Council every year.

What is the difference between the
Capital Budget and Operating Budget?

The difference between a Capital budget and an Operating budget is to differentiate how services are paid. Think of it like Capital budgets focus on big, one-time investment costs and are usually long-term, whereas an Operating budget focuses on budgeting for the day-to-day costs. For example, a Capital cost would include a renovation of a big downtown park. An Operating cost would be the annual staffing of that park.

The City if required by provincial law to balance its operating and capital budgets each year.

To balance the budget the City can either:

 

Why Should You Care?

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto is facing a deficit of upwards of $1.9 billion. Without increased Federal and Provincial funding, the City will need to cut essential services that are already underfunded. Cuts to services often have a disproportionate gendered impact. A review of the City of Toronto’s budget through a gender-equity lens would be able to identify how exactly these cuts will impact certain communities more than others.

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Constituency Office: 100 Queen St W A5, Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2