Pandemic-related spending will leave the city of Toronto with a budget deficit of $ 94 million by the end of the year, according to a new report to Mayor John Tory’s executive committee.
And the economic gap could “increase correspondingly” if there are no ways to stop the bleeding, Chief Financial Officer Heather Taylor wrote in her report, which will be presented to the committee on Thursday.
But Tory said he is convinced that federal and provincial governments will step up to cover the deficit, most of which – about $ 74 million – is due to losses at the TTC.
Equestrianism and revenue plummeted during the worst of the pandemic, Tory said.
“As for the re-elected government in Ottawa, they are a government that gets cities,” Tory said.
“They understand that a big city like Toronto cannot operate on some kind of transit system that is cut in half due to the fact that equestrianism is slowed down.”
The report is a review of how closely consumption and revenue match the $ 14 billion operating budget adopted by the council in February.
Both Tory and budget manager Coun. Gary Crawford also praised the provincial government for its willingness to help the city cover its COVID-related costs.
“We are quite confident that both levels of government will support us,” Crawford said. But if this funding is not realized, he said the city will be able to offset the deficit by borrowing from next year’s capital budget – a move that could see some upcoming projects delayed or abandoned.
No cuts in service, says mayor
The city’s capital budget covers one – time physical costs, e.g. The construction of assembly centers, bridges and roads.
Crawford said it is too early to say which of these projects could be affected. Budget discussions for 2022 begin in November.
Whatever happens to funding from other levels of government, Tory said the deficit will not be calculated by cutting services or raising property taxes beyond inflation.
“This is a time during a pandemic where people need the services the city has to offer,” he said.
Tory said city staff will also “continue what have been heroic efforts by our public servants to curb spending.”