Supporting Small Business - Moving Forward

Over the last year, I have heard from many small businesses in our community that increasing economic pressures in many neighbourhoods are making it more and more difficult for small and independent businesses to survive. From local grocers and raw food vendors in Kensington Market, to restaurants across our Ward, many have been sounding the alarm regarding the impact large and unexpected property tax increases can have on their ability to stay afloat.

After working closely with City Finance staff to try and find solutions to the growing problem, I am delighted that they have come forward with a recommendation to cap annual tax increases on commercial properties as an effort to support local business across our city. The recommendation calls for a maximum possible increase of 10% of the prior year’s taxes on an annual basis - rather than an undetermined, and often prohibitive amount, for some businesses.

Progressive taxation is a critical part of how our city funds and supports the services we all rely on. At the same time, our taxation system should be fair for all, including the local business that make our communities and economy thrive.

The capping recommendation will be considered by Executive Committee this week, and City Council at the end of January.