Most Think Toronto Has A Spending Problem, Not A Revenue Problem

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Most Think Toronto Has A Spending Problem, Not A Revenue Problem

Despite this, most see answer in higher taxes, not cuts

TORONTO November 16th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 778 Toronto voters, the largest group, about 4-in-10, say Toronto has a spending problem (43%), while fewer than this, about one third, say Toronto has a revenue problem (35%). Only one in fourteen think the city has neither (7%), and one sixth don’t know (15%). Belief the city overspends is characteristic of males (47%) rather than females (40%), those in lower income brackets ($20K to $60K - 49%), in York (52%) and Scarborough (55%), those who commute in private vehicles (53%), those who disapprove of John Tory as mayor (63%) and those who voted for Doug Ford (76%). Belief there is a problem gathering revenue is characteristic of the oldest (40%), the least wealthy (less than $20K - 43%), in the downtown (46%), the best educated (post grad - 46%), those who commute by public transit (46%) and bicycle (52%) and by those who voted for Olivia Chow (53%).

Raising taxes seen as preferable to cutting services

More than 4-in-10 say city taxes should be increased to pay for services (41%), rather than the smaller group, about one third, who say services should be cut to keep taxes low (35%).  One fifth thinks neither of these courses of action is necessary (20%) and just one twentieth don’t know what to think (5%). Raising taxes is a position common to the oldest (55%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 55%), in the downtown (59%) and East York (62% - caution: small base size), the best educated (53%), bike commuters (72%) and Olivia Chow voters (63%). Cutting services instead is especially favoured by the least wealthy (less than $20K - 49%), in Scarborough (44%), the least educated (secondary school or less - 46%), those who disapprove of John Tory (46%) and those who voted for Doug Ford (54%).

“While it appears we have answered the eternal Toronto question, is it a revenue or a spending problem, in fact we have opened up another question, in that voters think the answer is, nonetheless, to raise taxes to continue to pay for the services they’re used to rather than to cut them,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.