Tools and resources available for the public to learn more about City of Toronto's budget process

The City of Toronto's 2017 preliminary operating and capital budgets were presented at the Budget Committee meeting today, and members of the public are encouraged to learn more about the budget process and the 2017 preliminary budgets. A range of tools and resources are available, from high level summary documents, infographics and learning brochures to briefing notes, presentations and detailed budget notes, at http://www.toronto.ca/budget2017.

"The City's budget is extremely complex and understanding it can be a challenge," said Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Budget Committee. "We are continuously working to make information about the City's budget transparent, easier to understand and accessible to residents and businesses. Understanding the budget is the first step for residents and businesses to get involved."

The City's budget website is the gateway to key tools and resources that are available, including:

The Preliminary Budget Overview – provides an executive summary of the 2017 preliminary operating and capital budgets, key challenges and a snapshot of where the money in the City budget comes from, where it goes and how the budget process will unfold over the next few months

Budget notes – provide the in-depth, detailed information about Council-approved service levels, service deliverables, key issues and priorities, 2017 budget highlights and plan, by each program area.

Budget Basics brochures – cover the fundamentals of the City budget process. Topics include Understanding the Toronto City Budget, Rate Based Budgets and How to get Involved in the Budget Process.

Infographics and financial charts – a series of infographics that depict key facts about City services are on display in the City Hall rotunda, available on the website and through the City's social channels. A series of financial charts provide an at-a-glance visual of key issues, where the money comes from to support the City's budget, where that money goes, and how tax dollars work for residents.

Budget videos – the YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/thecityoftoronto provides a series of short videos that discuss how to get involved, identify budget priorities and explain how tax dollars were put to work in 2016.

Presentations and briefing notes -- Staff presentations and briefing notes are provided to Budget Committee and Council throughout the budget process.  These documents can help the public understand key issues and follow the development of the budget as it is reviewed, debated, modified and approved by Budget Committee, Executive Committee and ultimately City Council.

The City of Toronto's Budget Committee will hear presentations from the public on the preliminary 2017 tax supported budgets in January. Members of the public can make a presentation at one of the budget subcommittee meetings on January 5, 9 or 10 at locations across the city. More information about the subcommittee meetings is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis.

Members of the public are encouraged to join the conversation or follow along on Twitter @TorontoComms and Instagram @CityofTO using the hashtag #TOBudget.

Residents are also reminded that consultations about the development of the City's Long-Term Financial Plan are underway. The City of Toronto is hosting four public consultation meetings from December 5 to 8, in addition to offering an online survey available from December 5 to 23 to gather the public's input on how the City can manage expenses, raise revenue and optimize its assets. The consultations and survey are part of the development of the City's Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP). To register to attend a meeting or webcast, complete an online survey or learn more, visit http://www.InvestinginTO.ca.  

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