Long term tax policy is a very tricky and hard to understand formula as was articulated tonight at city council.
Fact is commercial and industrial tax rates are coming down and residential will have to pick up the slack.
The one solution was that we as a city must grow our assessment base. Growth in the city is the key.
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce CEO Rory Ring spoke before the presentation on long term tax policy.
“Our industrial tax rates are not competitive,” he said, which is stopping potential capital industrial/commercial investment in the Sault.
This is what the Chamber has been advocating for 3 years for the industrial/commercial tax class, Ring also said.
After Ring spoke for the Chamber the tax growth or loss was presented separately from an independent third party.
In the in 2017 residential taxes grew 0.7 per cent to $463,603. Muti-residential grew 3.31 per cent to $164,617. Commercial classes grew 0.714 percent and industrial classes grew 0.303 per cent.
Our total tax growth was moderate at 0.79 per cent or $854,843 which it was said that because this is below the rate of inflation, taxes must go up again this year.
It was also stated that our commercial/industrial rates are above legal limits for next year.
It was also stated that residential tax rates must go up 8 per cent and multi-residential must go up 16 per cent to shift the tax classes around so commercial and industrial tax rates are responsible for ensuring a sustainable growth.
Councillor Paul Christian said that we have a large number of residents on fixed incomes “and it’s going to be a tough road.”