Council taps businesses for majority of tax hike

Council elects to have commercial businesses pay majority of property tax increase 

CITY COUNCIL VOTED last night to approve tax ratios that will see commercial businesses bear the brunt of the city’s 4.4 per cent tax hike.

With local businesses being hit hard by the financial impacts of COVID-19, some council members argued to ease the new tax burden being added to commercial property taxes, but in the end voted 8-7 to levy a 2.5 per cent property tax increase for homeowners (after provincial education taxes) and a 5.2 per cent increase for commercial taxpayers.

The aggregate average tax hike across all classes, set by council earlier this year when it approved the budget, is 4.4 per cent.

“Talk about ratios until the cows come home, but the real problem is the overspending that was authorized by this council, in the realm of a huge tax hike to all classes, residential, business, you name it,” Councillor Paul Van Meerbergen said in an interview with Newstalk 1290 CJBK.

Council also directed the mayor to reach out to the provincial government to inquire about resuming a planned reduction to education taxes payed by businesses. When the upload was paused in 2012, businesses in London were left paying the old, higher rate.

Council also deferred payment of property tax bills by 60 days to provide more financial relief during the pandemic.

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