- Feb 8, 2024
- City Hall
Councillor Brad Bradford Proposes 25% Property Tax Cut for Small Businesses across Toronto
TORONTO – Today, Councillor Brad Bradford announced his proposal to provide small businesses with a 25% property tax cut in this year’s city budget. This tax cut would provide urgent relief to nearly 30,000 small businesses struggling to endure today’s affordability crisis, while also boosting Toronto’s economic competitiveness. Bradford committed to exploring how the program could be further expanded so more businesses can benefit.
“Small businesses are not the same as large commercial businesses, and they need a tax rate that reflects that difference,” said Bradford. “At this critical time in Toronto’s economic recovery, a 25% property tax cut for small businesses would show that City Hall is doing its part to improve our local economy, tackle the affordability crisis, and foster vibrant main streets.”
Bradford’s proposal would amend Mayor Chow’s 2024 Budget coming to Council for debate next week. Toronto’s economic recovery continues to lag behind other North American cities and yet the current version of the budget is silent on small business and our city’s economy.
In 2020, Bradford championed the creation of the Small Business Property Tax Subclass and its 15% rate reduction as a vital measure to help Toronto’s main street businesses survive the pandemic-related lockdowns. By boosting it to a 25% reduction, and with provincial matching, a typical small business on Queen Street West in downtown Toronto could expect to save around $10,000 in property taxes.
Right now, the number of Canadian businesses filing for insolvency has reached a record high. That number is only expected to grow as businesses grapple with inflation and an affordability crisis while repaying government loans issued during the pandemic.
“Without financial relief, this budget’s historic property tax hike will only lead to more vacant storefronts on our main streets and an increasingly deserted downtown core,” said Bradford. “I am calling on the Mayor and my Council colleagues to support this amendment and help small businesses in every part of our city.”
The Small Business Property Tax Subclass provides a lower property tax rate for eligible small businesses across the city. The cost of the reduction is offset by other properties in the commercial property tax class and currently amounts to less than a one percent increase in their rates. None of the cost is borne by residential property taxpayers.
“At a time when Toronto is becoming increasingly unaffordable, this property tax relief will help grow our economy, preserve the small businesses that make Toronto’s neighbourhoods unique, and provide tangible help to small businesses when they need it most,” said Bradford.
“Small businesses are the cornerstone of Toronto’s economy. The existing 15% property tax reduction has been a real help to the nearly 30,000 small businesses who benefit. Councillor Bradford’s proposal to provide additional relief while exploring how more small businesses can benefit is a tangible way to help support and grow our local economy.”
- John Kiru, Executive Director, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)
“It’s a challenging time to run a small business, and we need all the support we can get. Councillor Bradford’s motion to further reduce property taxes for small businesses will provide meaningful relief for businesses like mine and many of those in West Queen West.”
- Chris Rampen, owner of Nunu Ethiopian Fusion and Chair, West Queen West Business Improvement Area
“The economic recovery has been slow, and many small businesses are still struggling to get back on their feet. Reducing the amount of property tax that small businesses pay will make a real difference in our ability to ensure we have vibrant main streets and thriving neighbourhood businesses.”
- Billy Dertilis, Owner of Red Rocket Cafe and Chair, Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area (The Danny BIA).
“Councillor Bradford’s announcement is progressive and visionary towards the success of small businesses. The positive repercussions will be felt not only by small businesses, but by all residents. It’s a proposal that has been developed thoughtfully and mindfully, and is a definite win/win for the City of Toronto.”
- Djanka Gajdel, Co-Chair, West Queen West BIA