18,000 jobs would be created this year if Ontario ended
“the most inequitable provincial tax in Canada”
Imagine if a politician proposed wildly different tax rates on people making the same amount of money? What about wildly different taxes on commercial properties on the same street receiving the same services?
Probably wouldn’t go over well, and that is exactly what Lionel Miskin, Chair of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) highlighted today to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs about the provinces Business Education Tax (BET).
This clearly unfair tax landscape is exactly what Ontario has had for commercial property owners since 1998 with its Business Education Tax. In 1998, Ontario took over school board’s authority to set tax rates and funding for education was disconnected from property tax revenue.
“Way back in 1997, as our report shows, an advisory panel appointed by the provincial government outlined that making these rates uniform for all businesses across Ontario would be significant benefit to the province’s economy, says Miskin “In 2015, we still don’t have anything near uniform rates.”
Another promise was made in 2007 to set a ceiling rate that was uniform across the province, but the Ontario government has delayed that until the budget is balanced. As of 2014, businesses located south of Steeles Ave. in Toronto are paying $2,300 more per $1 million in property assessment than they would if they were located north of Steeles in York Region. Other Ontario cities are unfairly impacted as well, with commercial properties in Waterloo, London and Kingston paying $2,400 more per $1 million in assessment than they would if the 2007 promise had been kept.
A report prepared by economists at the University of Toronto and Trent University outlines the Business Education Tax in full detail. Download the full updated report at Toronto-BIA.com.
“ Uniform rates implemented right now would only delay balancing the budget by less than four weeks,” says John Kiru, Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA). “And in doing so, the Ontario government could expect some 18,000 new jobs to be created per year.”
TABIA is a non-profit umbrella organization representing the City of Toronto’s 81 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) who in turn represent over 35,000 small businesses and 17,000 properties. 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.
For inquiries and further information, contact John Kiru, Executive Director of TABIA,