Friday 29 July 2011

Can you balance the budget (for Toronto)?

Meat or gravy: Can you balance the budget? -
The Toronto Star has put together this interactive budget calculator. Although it seems they put this together with good intentions, they are missing some key items:

Missing as a choice from the Revenue column:

- putting the Land Transfer tax back = over $200 million income per year

- putting the Vehicle Registration tax back = over $50 million income per year

Also not taken into consideration here is the fact that critics,
including Ford supporters I've spoken to, believe the projected deficit
of over $700 million is exaggerated, that it is actually about half this

Taking all these things into consideration, it is very easy to balance the budget without cutting services.

Assuming the projected deficit is about $450 million, and adding into the Revenue column the 2 missing/removed taxes, you can balance the budget easily by using the Revenue items, excluding both surplus items, having no tax increases or TTC fare increases, and no service cuts except for slightly reducing the police budget (crime has been steadily dropping and the police budget is the biggest expense for the city budget overall).


raymond8505 said...

Hello I improved on the Star's budget calculator and created in an effort to tally and make shareable each person's budget ideas.

I've reincluded the car tax and also today added the $380 mil for savings from projected departmental 'efficiencies'

I'd love to hear your input on this.

Thor said...

Raymond8505: Great budget calculator but one big problem: You are missing a zero on the land transfer tax - you have it set at $25 million when it should be about $250 million.
With this fixed, it will be possible to get closer to a balanced budget without including 10% across the board reductions.

Thor said...

Raymond8505: Oh, I see now that you just included the projected extra income from the Land Transfer Tax that existed in the past, and not the option of putting the tax back in itself. Last year, it brought in about $204 million. If it was brought back in to the budget picture, it would probably net even more per year.