Toronto BIA's dreading assessment bombshell

    TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - Ontario Government scheduled property
re-assessments for every fourth year. Worrying about a backlash when the next
assessment results are issued, it scheduled the assessment to occur shortly
after the October election. The valuation date is January 1, 2008.
    John Kiru, executor director of the Toronto Association of Business
Improvement Areas (TABIA), observed that property values have risen
dramatically since the last assessment and, as always, have risen unevenly
across Toronto. "Many of TABIA's members, most of whom are small business
owners, have not recovered from the tax hit they took in previous assessments.
The next one could be the final blow for many of them", he says. Small
businesses in Toronto are among the hardest hit, according to Mr. Kiru. "Many
of them are struggling with tax bills which are increasing at two or even
three times the inflation rate, with no end in sight."
    TABIA's view, says Mr. Kiru, "is that assessments should be frozen, and
only increase when a property changes hands. That policy would ensure that the
new owner can afford to carry the property. It would restore some stability,
predictability and security to the tax system in Ontario. Not only would
business benefit immensely from that, but also homeowners, especially seniors,
and cottage owners."
    "The previous government introduced current value assessment, and it has
caused immense stress to owners of all property classes as they head towards
tax levels based on the full current value of their property." The current
government has accelerated the process for commercial property. As the next
assessment approaches, there is trepidation and a heavy sense of doom among
many in the Toronto small business community.

For further information:

For further information: Lionel Miskin, Tax Committee Chair, Toronto
Association of Business Improvement Areas, (416) 222-4582 or visit

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