Proposed property tax hike edges up to 3.21%
Increase is up from 2.23% recommended earlier this month
The executive committee has approved a property tax increase of about 2.23 per cent, though Mayor Rob Ford voted against the proposal on Wednesday, while blasting his fellow councillors and accusing them of not respecting taxpayers.
The tax increase would include money for the planned extension of the Scarborough subway, though it does not include funds for recent storm damage.
The ice storm left Toronto facing a cleanup bill estimated at $106 million. The city has requested money from the province's disaster relief fund to help cover a portion of the cost. On Friday Ford and other GTA mayors met with the province to talk about storm relief, but left with no firm commitment for funds.
Also, Ford learned the request for provincial money could take months to process, leaving the city facing a significant hole in this year's budget.
On Wednesday, staff had recommended a 3.21 per cent tax increase – a suggestion that had the mayor fuming.
“There are some councillors who want to distract from the fact they want to hike taxes in 2014. I’m opposed to that 100 per cent as you saw today,” Ford said Wednesday, when speaking to the media both about the budget and about the video that has emerged of him at the Steak Queen restaurant.
Ford accused his fellow council members of lapsing into a tax-and-spend mentality that he claimed has re-emerged since council stripped him of some powers in the wake of a drug-related scandal.
City council will vote on the budget at the end of the month.