Toronto Board of Trade

Toronto Board of Trade

February 18, 2005 17:12 ET

Province Recognizes How Business Taxes Hurt Toronto

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 18, 2005) - The Toronto Board of Trade today welcomed the provincial government's recognition of how commercial and industrial property tax rates in Toronto are hurting the city and its businesses.

"The province's request that the city government hold the line on those business taxes, as part of its offer of financial help to Toronto, is an important recognition of the impact on business in our city," said Board President Glen Grunwald, "Toronto's business property taxes are much higher than those in surrounding GTA communities, reducing our competitiveness and costing Toronto jobs."

"However, we remain concerned that the city's budgetary shortfall may still result in property tax increases," continued Grunwald, "We urge the Toronto and provincial governments to re-examine the ideas contained in our pre-budget submissions and to continue to work together on short and long-term solutions to put Toronto on a sustainable financial footing."

The Board of Trade President also pointed out that Toronto's demands for $92 million from Queen's Park and Ontario's demands for $5 billion from Ottawa are all part of the same big picture.

"These are symptoms of the deeper problem, which is the growing fiscal imbalances between the Toronto, Ontario and federal governments," Grunwald explained, "We can see from the large federal surpluses that there is enough tax money in the system. All three levels of government need to re-balance that system so that there are enough resources at each level."

"We need to have a strong and competitive Toronto, and a strong and competitive Ontario, within a strong and competitive Canada," he concluded, "Instead of different levels of government telling each other what to do, all three need to cooperate in creating wealth effectively, sharing it fairly and spending it efficiently."
IN: ECONOMY, POLITICS

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