City of Toronto staff report lays groundwork for a new small business tax class in Toronto

Today, Mayor John Tory announced a City of Toronto staff report going to Executive Committee next week recommends that a small business tax subclass be created starting in 2022 to provide small businesses with tax relief.

As part of the 2020 provincial budget, municipalities were given the ability to create a small business tax subclass to provide a lower property tax rate for small businesses within the commercial tax class. Earlier this year, City Council directed City staff to define and develop a small business tax subclass to address the preservation and rebuilding of Toronto’s main streets and to offer tax reductions for a broad range of small businesses across Toronto.

The report recommends that a 15 per cent tax reduction be applied to small businesses within the commercial tax class. The remaining properties in the commercial tax class will see a property tax rate increase of 0.85 per cent in the municipal portion of property taxes to fund the tax relief. It is estimated that these reductions will apply to approximately 25,000 small businesses across Toronto, or 60 per cent of all commercial properties.

To qualify to be a part of this tax subclass, business are separated into two categories: 

Businesses located downtown, on the central waterfront, in designated growth centres or avenues in the City’s Official Plan

  • properties must be classified within the commercial or new commercial tax class
  • properties must have a Current Value Assessment (CVA) less than or equal to $7 million
  • lots must be 7,500 sq. feet or less, or for commercial condos a gross floor area of 2,500 sq. feet or less

Businesses located anywhere else in the city

  • properties must be classified within the commercial or new commercial tax class
  • properties must have a CVA less than or equal to $1 million

There is no application needed for this tax relief as all commercial properties will be assessed for their eligibility. There will also be a request for reconsideration or appeal process for properties owners who feel their property should be included in the new tax subclass. 

This tax will be revenue neutral for the City. The provincial government is expected to match the municipal tax rate reduction with a corresponding reduction in the business education tax for all eligible small business property owners.

The full report to Executive Committee, Implementing a Small Business Property Tax Subclass, is available online: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2021.EX27.7.

Quotes:

“Small businesses are the heart of this city, and these last 19 months have been extraordinarily tough for small business owners in Toronto. This new tax class will support new and existing small businesses located on Toronto's main streets, helping them to thrive in a post-pandemic environment and well into the future. We want small business owners to know we support them and we are committed to their prosperity.”
– Mayor John Tory 

“Small businesses in Toronto over the last number of years have endured increases in property taxes beyond the average – and the creation of this tax class will change that. This is about creating fairness and equity in the tax system – so the small book store isn't subject to the same tax rate as the large shopping mall. Providing broad tax relief to small businesses is important for Toronto's diverse and thriving local economy.”

– Heather Taylor, Chief Financial Officer

“We have continued to manage the City's finances responsibly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The small business tax subclass will provide much needed relief to hardworking small businesses across our city and ensure they can continue to prosper in our city. It is another example of the work we are doing to support people through the worst of COVID-19 and the safe reopening of the city.”

– Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Budget Committee

“Supporting small main street businesses is key to Toronto’s economic recovery. These businesses, from local barber shops or coffee shops to restaurants, bistros and specialty retailers are the heart and soul of their communities. We need to create policies that ensure these businesses can not only stay in our communities, but thrive in our communities.”

– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

“Reducing small businesses taxes across the city takes some of the strain off our main streets – many of which have been struggling throughout the pandemic. It's about creating a level playing field – making sure that our local mom and pops aren't taxed in the same way as large commercial businesses. It's important that small business owners know we're going to keep supporting them as we move into our recovery phase. Their success is our success.”

– Councillor Brad Bradford (Beaches-East York)

City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program to help local businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

News Release

April 16, 2020

City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program to help local businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

Today, Mayor John Tory announced the expansion of the Digital Main Street program to help local businesses develop or expand their online services during this unprecedented time.

Digital Main Street was created by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) in 2016 to assist main street businesses in growing their operations through technology with easy to use tools and resources. The program is also supported by Google, Mastercard, Shopify and Microsoft.

Councillors Bradford and Fletcher call on provincial and federal governments to protect small businesses unable to pay April’s rent

March 31, 2020 Beach Metro News

East Toronto councillors Brad Bradford and Paula Fletcher are making their voices heard on the need to provide extra supports for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Beaches-East York Councillor Bradford and Toronto-Danforth Councillor Fletcher have sent letters to the provincial government calling for such supports.

Danforth study 'most comprehensive' of its kind

February 11, 2020 By David Nickle, Toronto.com
It is, according to Toronto-Danforth Coun. Paula Fletcher, the biggest and most comprehensive planning study of its kind: a review of more than six kilometres of one of Toronto's best-known roadways, Danforth Avenue, between Victoria Park and Broadview Avenues. "There's nobody in Ontario who doesn't know where the Danforth is," said Fletcher.

The Danforth Study

The City of Toronto is inviting all members of the Danforth community to participate in a public consultation as a part of the Danforth Avenue Complete Street and Planning Study.

The first meeting was held November 6th and included a brief presentation about the study followed by interactive group discussion. Feedback from the first  community will help shape the scope of the study.  You can download that presentation by clicking here.

Danforth Avenue could be in for planning makeover in 2019

May 29, 2018 By David Nickle, Toronto.com

Danforth Avenue could be in for a massive planning makeover in 2019.

That's if Toronto Council approves the money for a comprehensive, overarching study of the seven kilometres from Broadview to past Victoria Park Avenue. On May 28, Toronto's budget committee sent a letter from Ward 30 (Toronto-Danforth) Coun. Paula Fletcher to senior city staff to come up with the plan for a study that would fold in ongoing work from three city departments.

Economic Development and Culture Divisional Strategy 2018-22

Over the past several months, Economic Development and Culture (EDC) has consulted with over 400 residents and industry partners to develop the new Divisional Strategy. They heard from many consultation participants who spoke to the importance of business and culture and their role in creating strong, prosperous communities. At the same time, EDC knows that there is work to be done to ensure that all Torontonians can share the benefits of a vibrant economy and culture, and to help business and culture partners succeed amid transformation and change.

Ward 30 Tree Lightings - Hold the Dates

 

Thursday November 23 - Leslie Grove Park - starts at 5:30 - tree lighting at 6:00

Friday November 24 - Withrow Park - starts at 5:30 - tree lighting at 6:15

Wednesday November 29 - Greenwood Park - starts at 5:30 - tree lighting at 6:15

Thursday November 30 - Joel Weeks Park - starts at 5:30 - tree lighting at 6:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unilever Precinct Planning Study

Dear Friends, City Planning has initiated the Unilever Precinct Planning Study to comprehensively consider and consult on a transformative vision initially advanced by a private developer, First Gulf, for a new major employment node focused on office employment, with a substantial retail component.

Date:     Tuesday May 16th, 2017 Time:     Drop-in anytime between 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm

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