Itís either layoffs or major tax increases: Ford


mentalfloss
#1
It’s either layoffs or major tax increases: Ford

Layoffs are looming for city workers, Toronto’s cost-cutting mayor warned Friday.

Unless more staff starts volunteering to take buyouts, Mayor Rob Ford said his administration can’t avoid penning pink slips.

Reluctant to take that hard road, “I don’t know if we have a choice,” he said on The Roundtable, with SUN News co-hosts Pat Bolland and Sue-Ann Levy, the Toronto Sun’s veteran city hall columnist.

Blaming “the previous administration” driven by council left-wingers with a “culture” of milking taxpayers to finance special interest programs, Ford said he wants to work with city worker unions and avoid axing staff.

“Right now it’s a mess we have to clean up,” he said.

“I want to work with the unions, but if they hold us hostage ... like they did two years ago with the garbage strike, I’m not going to stand for that,” Ford said, warning: “Don’t put a gun to our heads because that’s not going to work.”

Ford has vowed to trim $380 million in spending to reduce the 2012 budget gap of $774 million, “and if we don’t do anything, we’re looking at 30-to-35% tax increases,” he said.

Taxpayers have repeatedly told him they want “a safe city,” which resulted in a contract settlement with Toronto Police that included a 2.8% wage hike retroactive to Jan. 1. The deal, reached in May, boosts officer and civilian salaries by a total of 11.5% over the next four years.

Ford said workers such as grasscutters should not expect the same salary as a cop, Ford said. “It’s not the same job.”

He said residents are also pressing for other essentials, including contracting out garbage pickup — which is predicted to save $6 million a year after District 2 west of Yonge St. goes that route — “fixing potholes” and plowing snow.

An analysis of that program will be undertaken to determine the next phase, contracting out private trash pickup east of Yonge, Ford said.

He later said the city is examining cuts in other areas, including “should we own theatres? Should we own the zoo?”

It’s either layoffs or major tax increases: Ford
 
petros
#2
Quote:


He later said the city is examining cuts in other areas, including “should we
own theatres? Should we own the zoo?”

Privatization is always the answer.
 
mentalfloss
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Privatization is always the answer.

I might actually agree with those moves, but I still don't think that would bring in much revenue for the city.

What really upsets me is this obvious strawman that everyone is falling for.

Fire a significant amount of people or we raise taxes by 35%.

This is clearly a ploy to simply get rid of public services and have less government intervention.
 
petros
#4
No-one is willing to say "we're ****ed" and they will dance around like bugs around a light bulb giving all sorts of excuses for the hacking and slashing that is due to come our way.
 
mentalfloss
#5
I think I found a new game to play for the next hour or so..

Can YOU balance the budget
 
petros
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

I think I found a new game to play for the next hour or so..

Can YOU balance the budget

If you cut 75% of what is listed you get a balanced budget.
 
mentalfloss
#7
Here's what I cut:

City Surplus and Revenue
EXHAUSTED - I took all the revenues listed

Property Tax and TTC
Employed the maximum increase for property tax (10%) and TTC (25 cents).

On average that's $250 - $300 more annually for property owners, which I think is reasonable. And the TTC price hike will be forgotten in 3 months anyway. The lay person has come to expect TTC raises as "normal" by now.

Public Works
No cuts - people will appreciate that these services are kept.

Economic Development
Made cuts to both BIAs and trade activities. Businesses will always find a way to survive and they get enough revenue from the HST boost we gave them last year.

Community Development
A real black mark that would get me some grief, but I went for the $16 million sale of child care centres. Keep in mind these are just the building assets and should have no influence on the service itself.

Planning and Growth
No cuts were made

Government Management
All three of these sources can be privatized without any ill effect on the public.

Executive
As much as I would hate to do it.. The Zoo will have to go private. Also, reduction of two-officer patrols to one-officer patrols is perfectly acceptable and will save us a whopping $200 milliion.


All in all, budget deficit for 2012 has been reduced from $774 million to $2.6 million.

I left the remainder for us to rout this obese putz out of office and that should take care of the most useless gravy.
 
petros
#8
Quote:

Also, reduction of two-officer patrols to one-officer patrols is perfectly acceptable
and will save us a whopping $200 milliion.

I've seen how that cut works. You get two cop cars showing up for one call and then a third usually shows up to watch the show.

$195Million for cops? OUCH!!
Last edited by petros; Aug 12th, 2011 at 02:48 PM..
 
DurkaDurka
No Party Affiliation
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

I think I found a new game to play for the next hour or so..

Can YOU balance the budget

I could only get the deficit down to $107,000,000 before I got a little too uneasy with some of the cuts that would have to be made.

Regardless, there is going to be some angry cops & citizens after this is all said and one.
 
petros
#10
**** is hitting the fan.
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
+2
#11  Top Rated Post
The problem with lower wages from privatization is that people are not making enough
to continue to pay the taxes on their homes and when that happens the costs go up for
everyone else. The problem is not programs or the the ability of the the system to function.
The problem is the short term thinking and planning of politicians who only have vision to
the threshold of the next election. They implement programs and improvements with that
in mind. The problem is that some twenty or thirty years later there is no plan for the on
going financial management of the system they have created. Job cuts, and or tax
increases are the result. If people knew the anticipated future costs and the plan built in
realistic increases sound decisions could be made years earlier, to prevent the current
problems.
In any case, the taxpayers will pay either with increased taxes, or by virtue of unemployment
insurance, assistance or retraining programs, and in the final tally you still need police and
other services. The employees are not the problem, the politicians and highly paid poor
planners are the problem. Ford will solve his problems by creating a series of blunders that
someone else will have to clean up, again by layoffs, hiring, and higher taxes that is the long
and the short of it, because no one has the vision to plan a long way ahead, Its all short
term including Ford's solutions.
 
petros
#12
Passing the buck doesn't solve any financial crunch. Offsetting your costs to balance a budget is a bull**** manoeuvre that still puts it all on the backs of the people in one way or another.
 
mentalfloss
#13
Cash-strapped Ford off to Queen’s Park

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, facing a huge budget hole in 2012, is off to Queen’s Park on Wednesday morning to meet with Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Ford asked for the meeting. A senior provincial government source said he is “looking forward to hearing what (Ford) has to say.”

Ford is on record asking the province for more than $150 million in specific projects, including roadwork and increased child care subsidies, plus half the TTC’s $429 million annual operating costs.

Since the mayor’s February request, the city has plunged into 2012 budget deliberations, with Ford floating the possibility of deep service cuts and staff layoffs to erase a projected shortfall of between $443 million and $774 million.

Ford, a provincial and federal Conservative, seemed to be finding early common ground with the Liberal premier after McGuinty agreed to revise the provincially funded Toronto transit expansion plan and acted on council’s request to make the TTC an essential service.

But after McGuinty rejected Ford’s funding request, the mayor told a radio host: “If they choose not to help us, then I have no other choice but to get out, as I call it, Ford Nation, and make sure they’re not re-elected in the next election.”

Last month, as the Ford administration was buffeted by gaffes and public backlash to proposed spending cuts, senior provincial Liberals told the Star they hope to capitalize on the mayor’s fumbles in the Oct. 6 provincial election.

Ford, who has had trouble finding private-sector money for his promised Sheppard subway extension, is expected to try to deliver Toronto seats now held by Liberal MPPs to the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said he doesn’t know what’s on Wednesday’s agenda, but noted Ford wouldn’t be the first Toronto mayor to go to Queen’s Park asking for cash to help balance the budget.

Holyday said transit money is one possible request, along with funding to help get homeless residents into shelter.

Councillor Shelley Carroll, the budget chief under former mayor David Miller — who sometimes balanced the budget with a cash injection from Queen’s Park — said she would ask McGuinty for only one thing. “It’s what council directed — ask all three parties that, if they should hold office after Oct. 6, they return to the tradition of the province paying half the operating budget of the TTC,” Carroll said.

“Right now, we’re expanding transit and we have no idea how to pay the operating costs once it’s built.”

The other roughly $215 million would be funded equally from the city tax base and the fare box, she added.

Toronto News: Cash-strapped Ford off to Queen
 
CDNBear
#14
That's what happens when you take over for a socialist that hands out money and contracts without a second thought of the future.
 
mentalfloss
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

That's what happens when you take over for a socialist that hands out money and contracts without a second thought of the future.

The City has not seen out-of-control spending

Comparison of spending increases, 1998 to 2010. (Not including debt charges which, as mentioned, the other governments tend not to make principal payments on.)

From 2003 to 2010, the Cityís Net Operating Budgetóthe portion paid for by property taxesóincreased from $2.9 billion to $3.6 billion. Or about $100 million per year. The budgetary magic of the David Miller era was pulling in some $500 million in transfers from the provincial government to fund (often provincially-mandated) programs and adding another half-billion in rate-supported programs. But even then, the cityís year-to-year spending increases still fell below the rate-of-growth for other levels of government..

(whom if I remember correctly are a wee bit to the right of them 'socialists')

Toronto's Budget: This isn't about austerity | OpenFile
 
CDNBear
+1 / -1
#16
Up 100 million a year, as the economy was tanking?

Good thinking there I tells ya!

I guess that makes Bush' budgetary policy good thinking too.



Tony's 50 shouldn't even be a blip on your radar.
 
mentalfloss
-1
#17
These are all different scenarios with various spending rates.

Let me know when you want to get serious about it or if you just enjoy the arm chair analysis.
 
CDNBear
+1
#18
Two can play at the childish neg rep game pumpkin.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

These are all different scenarios with various spending rates.

Keep the xcuses coming.

Quote:

Let me know when you want to get serious about it or if you just enjoy the arm chair analysis.

Yes, that coming from you, is as hollow as the culvert under my driveway.

You aren't capable of serious discussion, your ideological bias prevents it.

Let me know when you grow out of it, and I'll give you more respect and less of a hard time.
 
mentalfloss
#19
What's my ideological bias?
 
CDNBear
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

What's my ideological bias?

Your ideology is decidedly left. This is made abundantly clear in your posts during the election, and after Ford took office.

Not only are you openly repulsed by the 'right', you lower yourself to childishly mock them and call them vile names.

Your fained compliments about Tony here, were as hollow as the bulk of your posts.

The "I'm objective" facade you try and portray, long since slipped off.
 
mentalfloss
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Your ideology is decidedly left. This is made abundantly clear in your posts during the election, and after Ford took office.

Not only are you openly repulsed by the 'right', you lower yourself to childishly mock them and call them vile names.

Your fained compliments about Tony here, were as hollow as the bulk of your posts.

The "I'm objective" facade you try and portray, long since slipped off.

Nope.

I only criticize the right because they're making the biggest screw ups right now.

I'm not a big fan of cap n' trade if you want an example of a criticism of the left.
 
CDNBear
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Nope.

I only criticize the right because they're making the biggest screw ups right now.

They're in charge. But I just watched you defend Millers gross spending. So you'll have to keep trying.

Quote:

I'm not a big fan of cap n' trade if you want an example of a criticism of the left.

Still rings hollow. But keep trying.
 
mentalfloss
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

They're in charge. But I just watched you defend Millers gross spending. So you'll have to keep trying.

It's not just about spending. Obviously there are revenues as well.

Just as there isn't simply austerity, but also vital services that must be provided.

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Still rings hollow. But keep trying.

I'm not going to sit here and try and pass the bloody CDNBear test.

You must think pretty highly of yourself, lol

 
CDNBear
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

It's not just about spending. Obviously there are revenues as well.

Obviously. But Ford didn't cause this mess. He inherited it.

Quote:

I'm not going to sit here and try and pass the bloody CDNBear test.

No one said you had to. But I was suprised when you tried, in a few posts.

Quote:

You must think pretty highly of yourself, lol

Do I really have to type out that saying about grasping the obvious again?

Maybe if you thought highly of yourself, you wouldn't make as many mistakes as you do.

Pain is temporary, pride is forever.
 
mentalfloss
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Up 100 million a year, as the economy was tanking?

Good thinking there I tells ya!

I guess that makes Bush' budgetary policy good thinking too.



Tony's 50 shouldn't even be a blip on your radar.

From $350 million surplus to $774 million deficit in one Ford year

We’ve heard a lot recently from Mayor Rob Ford and his supporters about how the city is facing a $774 million budget hole. This crisis is used to explain why we need to consider the possibility of slashing snow removal, contracting out garbage collection and stopping the practice of fluoridating the water.

Councillor Gord Perks, who sat on the budget committee of David Miller (and alongside Shelley Carroll and Kyle Rae, did most of the heavy lifting of actually writing those last few David Miller budgets) says:
The mayor’s allies are profoundly misleading Torontonians. [...] In 2010 we ran a $350 [million] surplus. I don’t understand how in one year that becomes a $774 million deficit. The important thing is though, that water and garbage are not on the property tax, so none of the cuts to things like environment days or fluoridation or any of that has a single thing to do with your property taxes.
To which, I imagine the vast majority of readers say, “WTF?” At least, that’s what my work colleague Rob Duffy said to me, demanding an explanation. Has Rob Ford really dug a $1 billion hole in during his eight months in the mayor’s chair?

Not exactly. Perks is not lying, those numbers are more or less accurate. But for their shock value, they do a bit of fancy dancing around our concepts of what the budget is and means, and leave out some pertinent details. The fact is that Ford is using the projected deficit number for 2012 for shock value to justify cutting services, while Perks is using the actual surplus number from 2010 to justify saving them.

Here’s how it actually works:

First of all, when we discuss the budget, we mostly talk about the projected budget that gets approved by council: it itemizes the amount of money each department is allowed to spend in the upcoming year. This budget is required by provincial law to balance: no council can pass a budget that projects an operating deficit. [*]

For years, the city of Toronto has faced a structural deficit of about $500-$700 million dollars. This means that every year when we write out our projected expenses and our projected revenue, we see a shortfall of about half a billion. Once that number is announced, there’s usually a period of shock-inspiring possible cuts announced to illustrate how serious the problem is. [**] Then, when the panic has taken hold, everyone goes about shaving a bit here, deferring expenses there, across every department, until the $700 million number gets down to zero. This is the same way you might, in your home budget, decide that rather than selling your car to make your budget balance, you’ll budget $10 less per week for groceries, $20 less per week for entertainment, and $5 less per week for coffee, etc. etc. Since this is projected spending—the size of each department’s allowance—the money can usually be found. The budget is balanced, and then it gets passed by council.

In 2010, for example—the year Perks is referring to—the city faced a projected deficit of $821 million. After weeks of haggling, that number was balanced without any significant service cuts at all, and with just a 4 per cent tax increase for residents (lower for businesses).

This process has taken place under Mel Lastman and David Miller pretty much every year since amalgamation.

Now, at the end of the year, after all the money has been spent, we take our projected budget—which was approved at the start of the year by the process I just outlined—and compare it to what we actually spent. As you’d hope, we usually find that we did not spend every penny we budgeted: we have a surplus. This is because the budget contains enough money to deal with emergencies that may arise (for example, you budget enough money that even if there’s a big blizzard, you’ll still be able to afford to clear the snow). It’s also because the city staff are drilled with a mantra to save money wherever possible, so in many cases if a staff member unexpectedly quits, they are not replaced and their work is reassigned, for example. The budget is intended to provide us enough money to get through a year where costs are higher than usual. Which means in a normal year where no emergency-spending situations arise, we should show a surplus. (This will be true of your home budget, too, if you’re doing it right). This surplus can be rolled into the following year’s budget to defray the new projected deficit.

In most years, the surplus has been $50-$60 million. In 2009, in part due to the garbage strike and lighter than usual snowfall, it was $181 million. In 2010, partly due to higher than expected revenue from parking fees and from investments the city had made, we showed an unusually large surplus, as Perks says, of $350 million. That lowered the traditional budget hole Ford faced for the 2011 budget considerably.

So you see: while Perks is technically right, there’s another, perhaps more accurate way to phrase all this. It is that going into the 2010 budget season, David Miller faced a projected budget shortfall of more than $800 million, and he managed not only to balance the budget without cutting any services at all, but to eventually show a huge surplus. So why is the somewhat smaller shortfall that Ford faces an emergency? Why would this, lesser crisis, require considering slashing whole government departments?

Now. A few other things: that $774 million hole we’re all told to panic about would be considerably smaller if Ford had not eliminated the vehicle registration tax, frozen TTC fares and frozen property taxes.

And finally, as Perks notes at the end of his quote, garbage collection and water services are both paid for directly through people’s water bills, or “Utility Bills,” as the city calls them, not from general revenues. So cutting them will have no impact on property tax rates, nor, presumably, on the projected budget deficit. Cutting those things would have, I think, the effect of lowering people’s water bills. Which may be a valuable goal (or it may not be), but is a sideshow from the real budget discussions.

http://www.thegridto.com/city/politi...one-ford-year/
Last edited by mentalfloss; Aug 17th, 2011 at 08:32 AM..
 
CDNBear
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

For years, the city of Toronto has faced a structural deficit of about $500-$700 million dollars. This means that every year when we write out our projected expenses and our projected revenue, we see a shortfall of about half a billion. Once that number is announced, there’s usually a period of shock-inspiring possible cuts announced to illustrate how serious the problem is. [**] Then, when the panic has taken hold, everyone goes about shaving a bit here, deferring expenses there, across every department, until the $700 million number gets down to zero.

Thanx for proving...

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Obviously. But Ford didn't cause this mess. He inherited it.

Right.
 
mentalfloss
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Thanx for proving...
Right.

Oh you think you're oooooh so crafty, don't you.

So can we agree then, that:

1.) Ford did not cause this

and

2.) Miller did not cause this

and

3.) The amalgamation of Toronto did cause this
 
CDNBear
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Oh you think you're oooooh so crafty, don't you.

I don't think I am crafty, I know I'm objective smart enough not to buy the biased bologna.

Quote:

So can we agree then, that:

1.) Ford did not cause this

Yes.

Quote:

and

2.) Miller did not cause this

Partially. If we ignore your feelings about excuses. Because Miller made several costly deals, that have long reaching finger prints.

Why do you think most municipalities contract out garbage collection?
Quote:

3.) The amalgamation of Toronto did cause this

Partially. But then you'd have to forget what you were saying about excuses again.
 
Machjo
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Privatization is always the answer.

Not always, but often.
 
mentalfloss
#30
Mayor asks McGuinty for $650-million to help fund Sheppard subway expansion

A mayor who rode to city hall on twin promises to introduce more disciplined spending and build a new subway line has turned to Queen’s Park for $650-million to help bankroll the project.

In a meeting with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty on Wednesday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford asked for the provincial funding to kick-start the expansion of the Sheppard subway. He also sought additional money for daycare spaces and the go-ahead to sell 900 social-housing units.

The subway request is a reversal for Mr. Ford. He agreed with the Ontario government in the spring that the city would pay for the $4.2-billion extension of the Sheppard line east into Scarborough with money from the private sector while provincial taxpayers would underwrite the $8.2-billion cross-city light-rail line under Eglinton Avenue.

The visit may also signal a shift in the balance of power between the mayor, elected last year with a substantial majority, and a premier facing an election in seven weeks.

The subway expansion is a flagship project for Mr. Ford, one he campaigned on during last year’s municipal election.

“I’m looking for all the money we can find,” he told reporters. “I’m looking for federal, provincial, private-sector money.”

The mayor suggested that Ontario’s governing Liberals could lose support from voters in Scarborough in the coming provincial election if they do not help fund the subway project. Municipal voters, he noted, overwhelmingly supported his platform.

Mr. McGuinty gave the green light last March to the mayor’s plan to completely bury the Eglinton LRT line and build the subway extension, helping him fulfill his pledge to kill Transit City.

“I campaigned on the Sheppard subway,” Mr. Ford said. “He knows that. I know that.”

But much has changed since the right-leaning Mr. Ford swept to victory on a promise to stop the “gravy train.” In recent weeks, the once unassailable mayor has come under enormous criticism over a core service review suggesting deep cuts to city services in order to erase a $774-million deficit.

At the same time, the fortunes of the Liberals appear to be improving. While they are still lagging behind the Progressive Conservatives, the gap is narrowing, according to a new Nanos Research poll.

Mr. McGuinty did not promise to pony up any money for the city during the meeting. But he did pledge to work together with Mr. Ford to encourage Ottawa to advance $333-million in federal grants sooner. The Premier’s conciliatory tone, observers say, could make it difficult for Mr. Ford to campaign against him.

The mayor threatened earlier this year to unleash “Ford Nation” and make sure the Liberals do not win a third term on Oct. 6 if they did not agree to his request for $150-million in funding.

Mr. McGuinty told reporters in a separate media scrum that he did not ask Mr. Ford whether he still plans to campaign against him.

“We didn’t get into that,” Mr. McGuinty said. “We had a cordial, civil, productive meeting. “My responsibility as Premier is to find some common ground. I’m called upon to work with all kinds of representatives and my heavy responsibility is to find ways to advance the greater public interest.”

For his part, Mr. Ford said he isn’t asking the province for new money for the subway. Under the old Transit City plan, Ottawa and Ontario had agreed to fund an LRT line along Sheppard Avenue. But Ottawa made its $333-million in grants conditional on the money being spent by 2014.

Mr. Ford is worried that the city will lose the federal funding if the province does not come through with its Transit City funding. The province has now re-allocated its $650-million share of the funding to the Eglinton LRT.

Mr. McGuinty said he will give some thought to Mr. Ford’s request, but he said he has a “slightly different take” on the $650-million. The province could make up to $650-million available but only once costs are determined on the Eglinton LRT.

“And it’s pretty hard to make that determination at this point in time,” he said.

Mr. Ford said he plans to meet with opposition leaders and make the same request of them. But the Progressive Conservatives appear non-committal and the New Democrats would outright reject the request for subway money.

Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer declined to comment on the subway project but said her party has pledged to spend $35-billion on infrastructure in the province, including public transit and roads.

New Democratic MPP Michael Prue said his party would not make any funds available for the project.
“He said that the private sector would build and we hold him to his word,” Mr. Prue said.

Mayor asks McGuinty for $650-million to help fund Sheppard subway expansion - The Globe and Mail
 

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