Following on our earlier client updates from May 1, 2013 and May 30, 2013 there have been signs of movement on a tax on all off-street parking spaces on commercial properties in the City of Toronto.

Such a proposal had been considered but rejected by City Council in May 2013.

On February 9, 2016, the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee will present to the City’s Executive Committee a proposal to further study the impact of several revenue-generating policy proposals, including a revived parking tax at the suggested annual rate of $365 per parking space ($1 per day per stall).

If approved by the Executive Committee and then by Council, a process of consultation and analysis will begin, with a final recommendation likely coming sometime in the spring or summer. The impetus behind this proposal put forward by Councillor Joe Mihevc is the City’s projected budget shortfall of $90 million for 2016. The proposed parking tax (with anticipated exemptions for municipal organizations, universities, schools and hospitals, Toronto Parking Authority and TTC lots) is projected to raise $300 million annually for the City’s coffers and is being pushed by Coun. Mihevc on the basis that it is one of the few tax increases that would not require approval from the provincial government.

Several industry  groups, including the  International Council of  Shopping Centers, NAIOP  and REALpac have come out strongly against the proposed tax, on the basis that it will pose very difficult challenges for the commercial property sector including the retail industry and for Toronto’s enclosed and open air shopping centres, power centres, grocery stores and small commercial retail units and strip plazas.