Toronto City Council Approves 0.7% Hike to Property Taxes
If you own a home in Toronto, get ready to pay more, as city council has voted in favour to increase property taxes in 2021.
During a special meeting on Thursday, Toronto City Council voted in favour to approve an overall average property tax increase of 0.51%, with a 0.70% increase for residential properties, a 0.35% increase for commercial properties, and a 0.23% increase for industrial properties.
There is no increase for multi-residential or apartment buildings, as per provincial legislation. According to City staff, the new rate will raise a local municipal general tax levy for 2021 of $4,621,345,185.
The approved property tax hike will cost a homeowner with an average priced home valued at $698,801 an additional $69 in 2021 — which is notably lower than the $130 increase on the average property tax bill in 2020.
This includes the tax used for the City Building levy, which is used to build priority transit and housing capital projects, and was already set at 1.5%. This particular fund is set to raise an estimated total of $49,826,401, according to city council.
This is the most difficult budget year in the City’s history due to the impact of the pandemic.
We’re working hard to find savings while also recognizing that individuals and businesses simply can’t afford significant tax increases and should not be asked to absorb them. pic.twitter.com/D68HQQ557F
— John Tory (@JohnTory) February 18, 2021
In the lead-up to Thursday’s meeting, Mayor Tory said the City has worked hard to find savings and that this is “the most difficult budget year in the City’s history” as a result of the pandemic.
“This is a responsible budget that does the right thing during these tough times – it preserves and protects City services people rely on every day and invests more in key areas where the impact of COVID-19 has been greatest,” said Mayor Tory.
“We are making investments exactly where it makes sense in our fight against the pandemic – this budget puts millions of dollars more into Toronto Public Health, pandemic-related funding for shelters, Toronto Community Housing, and seniors and long-term care. In finalizing this budget today, City Council has confirmed our consistent strong message that we need the continued support of the provincial and federal governments in our fight against COVID-19. I will be working non-stop, just as I did with considerable success in 2020, to secure federal and provincial support,” said Tory.
On Thursday, council also approved the 2021 tax-supported operating budget of $12.13 billion and a 10-year tax-supported capital budget and plan of $29.1 billion.
The City says the 2021 tax-supported operating budget focuses on keeping property taxes affordable, preserving service levels, and managing COVID-19 recovery and rebuild.
The budget includes $66 million in new investments to support”building a prosperous Toronto” and delivering on key commitments, such as road safety, mobility, modernization, culture, and equity and reconciliation. When combined with the $1.89 billion rate-supported operating budget approved by City Council on December 16, 2020, the total 2021 operating budget is $14.02 billion.
This comes as the City continues to experience significant financial impacts, in the form of both added costs and revenue losses, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The operating budget includes $1.6 billion in funding through continued partnerships with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to address the impacts of COVID-19, of which $947 million is currently secured. City-led mitigation strategies totalling $573 million in savings and offsets are also included.
Council also approved a 2021 tax-supported operating budget of $12.13 billion and a 10-year tax-supported capital budget and plan of $29.1 billion.
The budget preserves existing services within public health guidelines while managing the impacts of COVID-19 and continues to invest in key capital projects to build a more equitable and prosperous Toronto for all residents.