BURLINGTON (November 19, 2020) — The Ontario government is giving municipalities the flexibility to provide property tax relief to small businesses. The province is also considering matching these reductions, which would provide small businesses with municipal and provincial property relief totaling $385 million. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy, but many have been suffering through the pandemic and struggling to stay on their feet,” said Premier Ford. “Our municipal partners came to us with an idea to provide more support for small businesses through property tax relief, and in our fall budget, we delivered. Our government is also helping small business owners by eliminating unfair taxes on jobs and lowering the Business Education Tax.”
The government is also proposing to end a tax on jobs for an additional 30,000 employers. Back in March, the government more than doubled the Employer Health Tax exemption to $1 million. Employers across Ontario have indicated that this measure helped them keep workers on the job during COVID-19.
“Time and time again, we have heard that unfair property tax rates in some parts of the province are creating barriers to job creation and growth,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “We heard loud and clear that levelling the playing field and addressing unfair property tax rates is one of the most important things we can do to immediately support employers now and in the future.”
“Property taxes are one of the most unavoidable costs businesses face in Halton, Hamilton and Niagara. Despite promises made by governments over the past 25 years, there remains a wide range of Business Education Tax rates across the province,” said Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington. “Budget 2020 will help level the playing field by lowering Business Education Tax rates for 94 percent of business properties starting on January 1, 2021. This will create $450 million in immediate and annual savings.”
“This much-needed tax relief is welcome news for the many businesses and job creators in the Halton-Hamilton-Niagara corridor,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. “In real terms, it means a substantial 30% reduction in the provincial portion of property taxes, through reducing the Business Education Tax. It also means flexibility for municipalities to provide relief to job creators, through the creation of a new optional small business subclass."
“We had asked for property tax breaks as one policy that could help many businesses with their expenses, and we were pleased to see that the Ontario 2020 Budget included such a break,” said Mishka Balsom, CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce. “This, and the other measures in the Budget, will help our business community survive and thrive.”
"Small businesses create jobs and prosperity in our community. Our budget is helping them by making the $1 million exemption for the Employer Health tax permanent, benefitting 30,000 employers,” said Oakville-North Burlington MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos. "We are lowering business education tax rates for 94% of businesses and giving municipalities the power to lower their taxes on small businesses."
“The Ontario government’s Action Plan to reduce property taxes on business properties is a welcome and much needed support that will provide real relief for employers across the province,” said Carla Nell, President & CEO, Burlington Chamber of Commerce. “These measures, which include giving municipalities the flexibility to target property tax relief to small businesses, represent a bold and important step in reforming a system that has been long overdue for modernization and improvement.”
"The policy changes in the Ontario Budget clearly indicate the provincial government is listening to the concerns of businesses,” said Keanin Loomis, President & CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “In addition to lowering and standardizing Business Education Tax rates and reducing electricity costs for many, municipalities have been given the authority to establish a much-needed small business property subclass to potentially reduce property taxes. This is a welcome policy.”
The Ontario government is also helping main street businesses stay open and stay safe by offering a grant of up to $1,000 for the costs of personal protective equipment (PPE), with applications for the $60-million Main Street Relief Grant. Small businesses with two to nine employees in the retail, accommodations and food services, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services sectors can apply for this one-time grant.
Whether applying for the Main Street Relief Grant for PPE – or for property tax or energy rebates in affected regions – eligible businesses will be able to do it all through one application available at: www.ontario.ca/smallbusiness.
- Ontario's Action Plan sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
- Ontario has also committed $300 million to provide eligible small businesses in modified Stage 2 public health restrictions, or, going forward, in areas categorized as Control or Lockdown to cover costs associated with property taxes and energy bills.
- The province is also moving forward with introducing legislation to extend the temporary ban on commercial evictions for businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance, as part of Bill 229, the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020.