TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) — Toronto’s City Council is weighing a cut to property taxes to help the city’s struggling music venues during the COVID-19 crisis.
According to NowToronto, city councillor Joe Cressy called a special session of Toronto Music Advisory Committee to discuss a proposal to cut the property tax for music venues by 50%.
For venues where the music venue is a tenant of the building and not the property owner, the landlord would be expected to pass the reduction in property taxes on to the tenant in the form of reduced rent.
It is unclear from the proposal if the music venue or the landlord must apply for the change in tax class to be eligible for the reduction in property taxes.
“We’ve spent a year now working to create permanent financial relief for live venues,” Cressy, who chairs the committee, told NowToronto. “That work was urgent prior to the decimation of the live music sector and it’s absolutely critical now.”
At the video telemeeting on Wednesday, the committee endorsed the measure, and will finalize a the draft of eligibility criteria for the new subclass of property tax, taking into account input from the Toronto Music Advisory Committee, for submission to City Council at the earliest opportunity.
Toronto’s full City Council is expected to take up the measure in July, and if approved, the tax measure will be retroactively implemented on January 1, 2020.
Toronto, which was already facing a shrinking pool of music venues has seen several prominent live performance spaces close since the COVID-19 lockdown commenced, including The Hideout and Club 120, NowToronto reported.