A quick thought on Miller’s budget play

Here’s what I don’t understand about Toronto Mayor David Miller’s failed attempt to introduce new taxes, including those on land transfer and vehicle licensing. Immediately after the vote, Miller suggested that a wide range of services would have to be cut, ranging from snow clearing in North York to policing to the Sheppard subway. If the city has to cut existing services because it cannot raise additional revenue, doesn’t that imply that the city was spending money without the revenue sources to support the spending?

I agree that the city is in the midst of a structural fiscal crisis and that the service cut announcement is an attempt to push the provincial and federal governments into providing more funding. But the threats to current services border on outrageous to the point of being irresponsible.

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One thought on “A quick thought on Miller’s budget play

  1. I don’t know the details but my understanding is that there is an annual shortfall in the city budget which has been solved by mixtures of program spending reductions, shifts of money from capital to current account budgets, and periodic provincial bailouts. It’s conceivable that the annual budget would have a shortfall if any of these sources were no longer available. So, yes, we’ve been spending more than we have resources for – or else we’d have a balanced budget. The left typically attributes this to downloaded costs for existing services, which is I think mostly true. the blackmail-the-province strategy is one school of thought – Rosario Marchese was pushing it among the left counsellors – but it maintains the reliance on provincial largesse, and thereby, the provincial influence on local politics…they can pick which mayors to support, or not.

    Take a look at the budget thought – the fuzz take over 50% of it, and some studies say they are one of the largest per capita cop budgets in fortress North America. Not targeted for cuts though.

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