In early 2017, small business owners on Yonge Street faced tax increases of up to 400%, based on real estate speculation driving up the Province's formulas for the area. After hearing from concerned constituents and business owners, I convened a series of meetings with small business owners, the City's leading tax policy experts, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and other political leaders to find a way forward.
Together, we were able to achieve an almost immediate 50% relief after uncovering significant oversights in provincial property tax assessment. Subsequently, I worked with the Chair of Economic and Development to implement an interim tax cap in 2018 to prevent uncontrolled tax escalation, while giving staff direction to report back on long-term solutions. This saved many small businesses on Yonge Street and across Toronto. A new policy package will be presented in 2019 to offer long-term relief and prevent similar issues from arising in the future.
- 'No one can afford' 100% property tax increase, Yonge Street business owner says, CBC News, August 3, 2017
- Property taxes reduced for Yonge Street businesses hit by hikes, Toronto.com, August 31, 2017
- Small Businesses Call on City Council To Support Intelligent Commercial Tax Reform and Help Save Small Business, Media Release, December 5, 2017
- Small businesses 'taxed out' across Toronto hoping for long-term solution, CBC News, September 10, 2018
- Saving Toronto’s Small Businesses and Main Streets with Intelligent Tax Reforms, Op-Ed by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, December 4, 2017