“Make it Easy to Invest Here,” says Chamber of Commerce

The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is providing input into the 2024 municipal budget through a video deputation to City Council.
 

“Make it Easy to Invest Here,” says Chamber of Commerce

Jan 29, 2024 | Advocacy, Municipal Advocacy, News

The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is providing input into the 2024 municipal budget through a video deputation to City Council.

The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is providing input into the 2024 municipal budget through a video deputation to City Council.

“Our Members have expressed their very real concerns about the proposed tax increase as businesses address the ongoing challenges of high inflation and labour shortages,” says Charla Robinson, President. “Our Members care about the tax levy because it is a direct cost that impacts their ability to invest in other things such as staff and inventory that could help to make their business more successful.”

The deputation explains that commercial and industrial property owners pay a larger portion of city taxes with commercial property owners paying $1.98 for every $1 of residential property tax while industrial property owners pay $2.37. Commercial and industrial properties represent 16% of the total value of properties in the city but pay 27% of the property taxes collected.

The Chamber says that the city’s high property taxes make it less competitive which reduces the attractiveness of the community for new businesses and residents to locate here. Higher overhead costs make it harder for businesses to compete on pricing and service delivery, limiting the opportunity for local businesses to grow.

“City Council has identified growth as a priority in the City’s Strategic Plan and it is imperative for Council to recognize that tax increases are a barrier to growth,” says Robinson. “Economic growth has a significant upside because it provides more tax revenues to the city, so the most impactful thing that Council and City Administration can do is to make it easy to invest here.”

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