GOLDSTEIN: Toronto municipal spending per capita highest in GTHA, report finds
Toronto City Hall is the biggest spender per person among the 26 municipalities that make up the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, according to a Fraser Institute study released Thursday.
At $4,605 per person in 2019 — chosen because it was the last year of hard data before the pandemic hit — Toronto topped the list for city government spending, a position it maintained in inflation-adjusted dollars for the entire period covered by the study, from 2009 to 2019.
No other municipality has come close to Toronto’s per capita spending this decade, as the Conservative Tax Think Tank Report calculates, with the second highest spending municipality, King, reaching per capita spending of $3,742 in 2019.
Milton spent the least per person in 2019 at $2,629.
Toronto’s municipal government also topped the list for spending per person in 2009 at $4,641 per person, with the second highest spending municipality that year, Hamilton, reaching $3,501.
Halton Hills spent the least per person in 2009 at $2,594.
But while Toronto’s spending per person was the highest from 2009 to 2019, it was also one of four municipalities to decrease spending per person during that period, by 0.8%.
The others were Hamilton which decreased spending per person by 11.2%, Milton by 3.8% and Caledon by 0.9%.
In contrast, the other 22 municipal governments in the GTHA increased spending per person between 2009 and 2019, with the largest increases being at 22.6% in Aurora; Whitchurch-Stouffville at 21.3%; King at 20.6% and Georgina at 20.4%.
On the revenue side, Toronto City Hall received the most money per capita in 2009 at $4,932, with Vaughan in second place at $4,544.
In 2019, Toronto’s annual revenue rose 4.9% per capita to $5,173 in inflation-adjusted dollars, but the city fell to third place due to faster revenue growth per capita. person in 17 other municipal administrations.
King’s per capita income of $5,935 in 2019 — the highest of all 26 municipalities in the GTHA — rose 67.4% from 2009 to 2019, also the largest percentage increase among the 26 municipalities
Vaughan’s per capita income of $5,810 in 2019 was the second highest of any municipality, with a 27.8% increase between 2009 and 2019.