City: Spending & Controls
posted November 2, 2005
City Audit Committee calls City debt levels "unsustainable"
Debt to reach $5B this year
From the city's audit committee consolidated financial statement report for fiscal 2004 (to December 31, 2004) of july 12, 2005 (page 14) (emphasis is mine):
The City’s net financial liabilities increased in 2004 largely due to increases in long-term debt and unfunded employee benefit liabilities. In absence of new revenue sources, the City will need to rely increasingly on debt to finance its capital program and to implement significant property tax increases to finance the operating program. As a result, this unsustainable financial position must be addressed through a new deal which must include new revenue sources which grow with the economy.
The debt position is on page 12 ($4.65B)
Interest on long term debt is listed as $111M under "Expenditures by Object" (page 42)
In the approved capital budget for 2005, there is a capital budget of $1B (page 1), including new debt of $365M (page 3, which presumably would put Toronto's debt at over $5B).
From the 2005 budget backgrounder, page 3 (emphasis mine):
2005 Debt Financing
Historically, the City considers about $200 million of new debt to be manageable. The cost of carrying any new debt should not create an undue burden on future operating budget or impact the City’s credit rating. After critical analysis, the CFO and Treasurer set the 2005 affordability guideline at $150 million new debt and $200 million for the TTC, for a total of $350 million. This high level of debt is only feasible for a short term (2005-2006) as the City transitions to a new deal that includes gas tax and other revenues.
posted June 7, 2005
A city document - list of Parks and Rec consultant fees
For a reproduction of a list of consultant projects we received from the city, Read more >>
posted November 21, 2004
City's Ontario Works Funds
Councillor Adam Giambrone,
Hello Adam, thanks for sending the City of Toronto Community Services grants program brochure to the Friends of Dufferin Grove Park.
However, we recently found out that an unknown percentage of the City's Ontario Works funds, which were meant to reduce the complex effects of poverty, were used for carrying out City projects quite unrelated to any poverty issues at all. We also read that City Council approved this scandalous use of some of its "Ontario Works" funds. After some discussion around the park, we have decided that we will not apply for any poverty-directed City funding programs until that issue is cleared up. We do deal with homelessness and poverty at the park, when people with problems and heartaches present themselves, but we would prefer to do that independently for now (using money we make from the snack bar and the farmers' market).
Please feel free to pass along this e-mail to anyone you think might be interested, or might want to go into this further.
We have a City of Toronto Staff report on spending of Ontario Works Funds. Read more >> (pdf)
posted August 12, 2004
THE $803,000 LIST: Boondoggle?
When the city council met at the end of July 2004, a group of us tried (and failed) to interest city council in stopping a "facility-audit" for Parks and Recreation, that will cost over $800,000. Read more >>
posted August 4, 2004
$800,000 P&R facilities audit passed...
... without debate -- in spite of our warnings, and a promise
My Experience at City Hall by Luke Cayley
"When I went to the Toronto City Council meeting on July 20th, I arrived there expecting to be confused. I had been to several City Council meetings before, and had generally not had any idea what was going on for most of the time. The first morning of the three day Council meeting met all my expectations, as item after item whizzed by without a real vote, or any debate ever taking place." Read more >>