Feb 1st update from CBC:
Chow is recommending councillors raise residential property taxes by eight per cent and add 1.5 per cent to the city building levy — a fund dedicated to transit and housing — for a combined tax increase of 9.5 per cent on property owners. The $42 million needed to reduce the tax rate will be covered by dipping into the city’s tax stabilization fund, a reserve that was established by the city to help address financially difficult times, budget documents show.
The proposed increase, which comes after months of public consultations, is one per cent less than the 10.5 per cent increase city staff proposed in its draft budget, but it’s still the largest Toronto has seen since amalgamation in 1998.
Understanding the Tax Hike
The city’s budget process, which began last November, is heading towards a critical phase. With the final budget package set to be voted on by the Council on February 14, there’s a lot of anticipation and discussion about what this means for homeowners and investors in Toronto. One thing is certain: our city faces a significant operating shortfall of $1.8 billion, and property taxes are a key revenue source for municipal services.
Why Is This Happening?
Toronto has been independently handling the costs of transit and social services since the early 1990s. This responsibility, coupled with decades of structural deficits, means the city needs to find sustainable ways to fund its services. Even though Mayor Olivia Chow secured substantial federal and provincial funding last year, property taxes remain essential for the city’s financial health.
What Does This Mean for East Toronto?
As residents and investors in East Toronto, it’s important to understand the implications of this tax hike. Historically, Toronto’s municipal property tax rate has been lower compared to other areas in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. This increase, while substantial, is part of a broader strategy to address the city’s financial needs.
We believe that informed decisions are the best decisions. While tax increases might seem daunting at first, they are also indicative of a city that is actively working towards solving its financial challenges. This can lead to improved city services and infrastructure, which in turn can enhance the value of properties and communities in the long run.
What Can You Do?
- Stay Informed: Keep an eye out for the final details of the budget package after February 14. Understanding the specifics can help you plan better for the year ahead.
- Budget Wisely: If you’re planning to buy or sell property this year, consider the impact of the tax hike on your financial planning.
- Seek Expert Advice: Our team is always here to provide you with personalized advice and insights on how these changes might affect your property decisions.
- Voice Your Opinion: Engage in community discussions and city meetings. Your voice matters in shaping the future of East Toronto.
Change is an inevitable part of city life, and property taxes are no exception. At DeClute Real Estate, we are committed to helping you navigate these changes with ease and confidence. Remember, we are more than just a brokerage; we are your partners in building a thriving, sustainable community in East Toronto.