Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover Promotes Job Creation by Reducing Taxes on Employers in Mississauga

Published on November 10, 2020

MISSISSAUGA — 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.


The move comes as part of to a suite of supports for small businesses announced in 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.”


Property taxes are one of the most unavoidable costs businesses face in Mississauga. They must be paid, even when business is slow, as it has been for so many this year. In Ontario, there is a wide range of Business Education Tax rates across the province - despite promises made by governments over the last 25 years to fix this inequity. This creates an unfair challenge for businesses operating in communities where rates are higher.


The 2020 Budget also proposes to reduce property taxes on job creators and level the playing field by lowering high Business Education Tax (BET) rates for over 200,000 employers, or 94 per cent of all business properties in Ontario, starting January 1. This will create $450 million in immediate annual savings and represents a reduction of 30 per cent for many businesses currently subject to the highest BET rate in the province.


“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."


Rates will be reduced to 0.88 per cent. For many employers, this represents a reduction of 30 per cent. In Mississauga, it means industrial properties will save $17,330,000 and commercial properties will save $26,289,000.


“The 2020 Budget builds on the actions we have taken to support businesses and employers throughout the pandemic,” said Nina Tangri, MPP for Mississauga-Streetsville. “Businesses and municipalities have spoken, and we have listened. We will continue to work with our partners to support employers and small businesses to lay a stable footing for a strong economic recovery.”


“To be clear, BET changes will not impact education funding.” Tangri added.


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.


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 becoming available online on November 16, 2020. 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. Eligible businesses, whether applying for the Main Street Relief Grant for PPE – or for property tax or energy rebates in affected regions – will be able to do it all through one application on a new online portal. For more information, please visit  ontario.ca/smallbusiness.


“Ontario’s landmark Budget – the first delivered during a global pandemic – in part focuses on what matters most to small businesses and will help establish a solid foundation on which they can reliably recover and rebuild,” said Minister Sarkaria. “Partnering with municipalities to bring tax relief to our small businesses will strengthen our recovery and help our job creators weather this storm.”

QUICK FACTS

  • 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. If passed, the legislation would extend the ban on evictions for commercial tenants that would have been eligible for the CECRA for small businesses program.


QUOTES


• "We all recognize that 2020 has been incredibly difficult for our small businesses in Mississauga. That's why we are empowering the City to provide property tax relief to the businesses that need it most, and also pledging to match any municipal property tax reductions. Depending on the discount from the City, a typical banquet hall, restaurant, or bakery in Port Credit could receive thousands of dollars in property tax savings in 2021, from both the City and the Province; this could mean the difference between being able to grow their businesses, or having to close up shop. At the same
time, the Province will continue to provide the quality public services that all  ntarians expect and deserve." – Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore


• “We know too many businesses are struggling and need relief now. Our Government is listening, and Ontario’s Action Plan outlines much-needed supports that will provide commercial enterprises with the ability to respond to market conditions by lowering business education tax rates and direct assistance with property taxes. I am very grateful to the Minister of Finance and his team for tailoring a budget that meets the needs of small businesses.” – Kaleed Rasheed, MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville


• Our government understands that COVID-19 has brought on unprecedented challenges for the people of Ontario, and this is especially true for the businesses that make our province a global economic powerhouse. Our government understand that fixed costs such as property taxes are a pertinent concern for businesses, and this is especially true during the pandemic where uncertainty can impact revenues. Our government’s new measures for property tax relief will save Ontario businesses hundreds of millions of dollars, and help to drive our province’s long-term economic
recovery in the years to come. – Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga-Centre


• “Property tax relief for small businesses is one of the many reliefs offered by the Ontario Government during this hard time. We heard from many small businesses and store owners about the challenges they are facing to sustain their businesses. Today we tell them we are here to help you and support you. thank you to the Ontario Government and the Premier for helping our small businesses to survive.” – Sheref Sabawy, MPP for Mississauga-Erin Mills