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City’s “backwards” budget process breeds cynicism, EY councillor Davis says

Janet Davis -staff

Janet Davis -staff

The City of Toronto’s budget process is “backwards and breeds cynicism” Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis told a standing-room-only crowd at East York Civic Centre during a budget subcommittee meeting to hear citizen input. People presenting requests think that “the fix is already in” when tax rates are set in advance of the sessions, she said.

Ms. Davis, who sat in with the subcommittee along with fellow EY Ward 29 Councillor Mary Fragedakis to hear 30 presentations by citizens with a wide range of concerns and requests, said the city should approach the process by saying “here are the things we want to see in our city, include them in the budget and then determine is the tax rate too high, not starting at the beginning with a fixed tax rate.”

The budget committee, at the direction of Mayor John Tory, who was also present to observe the presentations on January 10, has already proposed that property taxes should not exceed the rate of inflation, judged to be 1.47%.

But many residents, along with the two councillors, decried the lack of allotments for projects previously approved by council. The final budget will be set at a Spring meeting of Council.

-With files from Joe Cooper

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