Many small businesses and low-rise commercial property owners are under stress from the Current Value Assessment model employed by MPAC for assessing the value of properties. That’s why I'm pleased to share with you that I supported an item at City Council which directed the Interim Chief Financial Officer to:
a) undertake a review of various tax policy tools that can be used to provide relief to small business owners facing unsustainable Current Value Assessment-related tax increases;
b) report back to the February 6, 2018 Executive Committee meeting with recommendations on which tool or tools would most effectively achieve this; and
c) include evaluations and costing of the following specific mechanisms in the review:
- the creation of a small business tax classification for independently owned, non-franchise businesses operating in a low-rise built-form context;
- changes to commercial graduated tax rate bands to lessen the burden on small businesses by either adjusting the graduated rates or creating a third band;
- a capping mechanism for properties experiencing Current Value Assessment-related tax increases substantially higher than average; and
- examining the frequency of Municipal Property Assessment Corporation's reassessment of Ontario property values to mitigate significant changes in assessment values.
I look forward to reviewing the results of this review to help inform ways to ensure that our small businesses have the tools they need to be thriving hubs of entrepreneurship in our communities.