On February 1, 2021, The Junction BIA wrote to Councillor Gord Perks to ask that he support council item MM 28.8 at the February City Council meeting, which would speak to a small business commercial property sub-class.
We are happy to report that this motion did pass with unanimous support, including from our own Councillor Perks. While amendments were made that make it unlikely that we could see any changes to our property taxes from the City in 2021, this is reassuring news that we will be moving toward the possible implementation in the 2022 tax year, resulting in significant cost reductions for our small businesses and property owners. This is great news!
The motion reads as follows:
2 – Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Kristyn Wong-
1. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to immediately begin the consultation required for the intention of implementing a new small business property subclass in order to support small businesses through the pandemic and to stimulate economic growth and job creation post-pandemic.
2. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to develop a small business property subclass definition that addresses the following issues:
a. highest and best use assessments – the small business property subclass definition should address the need to reduce property taxes for small businesses that have endured increases in property assessments beyond the average for the Commercial Tax Class;
b. preserving and rebuilding Toronto’s Main Streets – the small business property subclass definition should support small businesses located on Toronto’s main streets, helping them to survive through the pandemic, while also encouraging the rebuilding of main streets post-pandemic; and
c. broad tax relief for small businesses – the small business property subclass definition should recognize that small businesses are located throughout the City and provide a process to provide broad tax relief to these businesses.
3. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to set the small business property subclass tax rate to be a percentage reduction from the Commercial General rate, as approved by City Council, as soon as possible and no later than 2022.
4. City Council direct the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, once the Provincial Regulations are released, to report on the financial analysis, program design, additional criteria and enhancements, and implementation for the small business property subclass and to report their recommendations as soon as possible.