Thursday, February 21, 2008

Vindicating South of Steeles

Blue Print

Final Report
The Mayor's Fiscal Review Panel

Within the well done report are a number of findings that echo my postings here at South of Steeles. Below are some snipets........

"For example,
long-standing manufacturing facilities within the City have been challenged
by globalization — free trade agreements, fluctuations in exchange
rates, and rapid technological change. Many have closed or relocated from the
City areas to surrounding municipalities, eroding the City’s industrial tax base.
The resulting damage has put pressure on Toronto’s commercial property tax
rates (currently the highest in the world for class A office space, according to a
recent study by CB Richard Ellis), with the effect of driving businesses to other
parts of the region. A recent study by REALpac shows that both Toronto’s and
Vancouver’s commercial-to-residential property tax ratio are tied at approximately
5:1 for the years 2004–2006. By comparison, Mississauga’s ratio is
approximately 2.6:1."

"Another option is simply to raise rates on existing residential taxes. There is
plenty of evidence to show that Toronto’s residential property taxes are very
low compared to the 905 region and other cities across the country. This has
often infuriated the Province, which does not feel the politicians in the City of
Toronto have done enough on this front. It certainly has aggravated business,
which has been asked to shoulder a disproportionate share of the tax burden."

"RECOMMENDATION: The City must take a multifaceted approach to
growing revenues including encouraging intensification through zoning
changes, less red tape, user fees, exploring with the Province the possibility
of new regional transportation related levies, and adjusting its real property
taxes to bring them in line with competing jurisdictions."

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