Fixing Toronto's Finances - Tool Kit Tackles Toronto's Structural Deficit

Recommendations for Mayoral Candidates

www.VoteToronto2010.com

TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ - The Toronto Board of Trade has released a budgetary tool-kit designed to help fix the City of Toronto's troubled finances and create a fiscally sustainable future for Canada's largest city.

Bridging the Chasm: Fixing the City's Finances builds on the Board's comprehensive analysis of the City's ongoing structural deficit of its operating budget as detailed in The Growing Chasm released in February. This report offers multi-year options that contain at least $2.2 billion in sustainable, cost-saving measures and expenditures over the next five years. The report does not propose massive tax hikes, significant reductions or cuts to service levels, nor significant increases in property tax rates.

"The City must quickly deal with its ballooning structural deficit or it will threaten critical services and lead to massive tax increases for all Torontonians," said Carol Wilding, President and CEO, The Toronto Board of Trade. "The good news is that this problem is manageable if a determined multi-year budget plan is put into place."

The Board is sharing this report with its members, the mayoral candidates and municipal officials so they can incorporate the recommendations into their planning for the future of Toronto (http://www.bot.com/bridge).

Toronto is in a difficult financial situation. The city consistently spends more than it receives in revenue each year. City officials struggle to balance the operating budget through one-time fixes that get them through the year, but compound a growing budget deficit for the future. Without economic intervention, this structural operating deficit is projected to grow from $337 million in 2010 to $1.2 billion in 2019.

"Managing the City's structural deficit is a vital lever that the City has to ensure that it will have the ability to invest in critical infrastructure projects, including transit, and establish a stable tax environment to encourage economic growth."

Bridging the Chasm: Fixing the City's Finances is a component of Toronto Board of Trade's VoteToronto2010.com campaign, designed to frame the debate and develop solutions to the major issues for the upcoming 2010 municipal election.

About the Toronto Board of Trade (www.bot.com)

Founded in 1845, the Toronto Board of Trade is Canada's largest local chamber of commerce, connecting more than 200,000 business professionals and influencers throughout the Toronto region. The Board of Trade fuels the economic, social and cultural vitality of the entire Toronto region by fostering powerful collaborations among business, government, thought leaders and community builders. The Board of Trade plays a vital role in elevating the quality of life and global competitiveness of Canada's largest urban centre.

SOURCE TORONTO BOARD OF TRADE

For further information: For further information: or interviews, contact: Dorenda McNeil, Counsel Public Relations, (416) 961-5898 x 216, dmcneil@counselpr.ca

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