Mayoralty Race and Property Tax
For the First Time a Mayoral Candidate Takes Up Property Tax Issues
TABIA’s constitution prohibits it from endorsing or supporting any political party or any political candidate. But to the extent that members’ concerns are in issue, TABIA does advise its membership of the various positions and platforms proposed by the parties and by candidates.
In the Toronto mayoralty race, still in its incipient stages, one candidate has made proposals which reflect matters on which TABIA has been advocating for many years. Olivia Chow has thrown down the gauntlet. Recognizing the struggle facing Toronto small businesses, particularly the retail sector, and recognizing that the current property tax regime is a major factor in that struggle, she is proposing tweaks to the tax law. She wants the graduated tax to continue; she wants continuation and extension of the program introduced by former mayor, David Miller, to diminish the ratio between the commercial tax rate and the residential rate; and she wants the Province to rectify the current provincial property tax. That tax has recently been described as arguably the most inequitable provincial tax in Canada, because it imposes different rates in different municipalities, heavily penalizing Toronto businesses.
TABIA vice-president, Lionel Miskin, hopes that other mayoral candidates will see the wisdom of these proposals, and take them up as part of their respective programs.
TABIA is a non-profit umbrella organization representing the City of Toronto’s 77 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) who in turn represent over 35,000 small businesses and property owners. BIAs are responsible for the development of their commercial neighbourhoods and are a diverse and vibrant collection of ethnic, historic and business locations, combining to make Toronto a veritable City of Neighbourhoods.