John Tory’s 2015 budget reveals tax increase, TTC improvements
By Chelsea Howard
The first 2015 budget was released Tuesday by Toronto Mayor John Tory at the budget committee meeting at City Hall.
Tory kept a number of promises made during his campaign despite his announcement yesterday that TTC fares will be increasing.
Public transit, transportation infrastructure and poverty reduction dominated budget discussions, and a property tax increase, below the rate of inflation, is being implemented.
Key details of the proposed budget include:
- A 10 cent fare increase which will create $37 million in additional revenue to improve services
- $21 million towards poverty reduction
- Investing $5 million for emergency services
Property taxes are expected to rise to 2.75 per cent, including a 2.25 per cent tax increase and an additional 0.5 per cent from the Scarborough subway construction.
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) January 20, 2015
The $5 million allotted for public safety will cover 56 new paramedic positions, 25 new fire prevention and education staff and extreme weather planning.
The city is committing $21 million to poverty reduction including new and enhanced shelters with additional beds, two new 24-hour drop-in women’s shelters, and an increase funding for Toronto Housing Allowing Program.
In regards to overall transit services, Toronto has reached an all-time high annual ridership at 545 million users.
There is expected to be 50 new bus routes including 12 routes for the Blue Night Network and 4 routes to the Express Bus.
The budget has yet to be approved by city council, however can still be altered up until March 2.