The City of Toronto has indicated that it will be introducing new revenue tools to address forecast budget shortfalls. In particular, the City is considering recommending taxing parking spaces and is reviewing the following two options:

  1. A parking tax of $.50 to $1.50 per unpaid parking spaces per day.
  2. A parking sales tax on paid parking spaces from 5% to 20%.

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) as part of a real estate industry Coalition comprised of major property owners is actively campaigning against both these approaches.

On June 28, the City of Toronto Executive Committee was presented with a report from KPMG looking at several revenue tools including those outlined above. The Committee did not make a decision on any of the recommendations and instead asked City staff to do an assessment of the economic impact of the potential new taxes/levies. It is anticipated that City staff will report back to the Executive Committee in the Fall. RCC will utilize this delay to undertake the following activities:

Next Steps:

  1. RCC will meet with Councillors over the summer to discuss retailers’ concerns over the parking space tax options.
  2. RCC will work with the Coalition to finalize an economic impact report on the parking space tax options that will be released in mid-July. The report will highlight the following areas:
    • clearly explaining the difference between a sales tax on parking spaces and a parking space tax, as there is a general lack of understanding of the differences between these options;
    • refuting revenue projections from City-commissioned research that indicated that unpaid parking space tax would generate $535 million in revenue and sales tax on paid parking spaces would generate ‎$121 million in revenue; and
    • developing additional information that will strengthen the Coalition’s primary argument that a parking tax on either paid or unpaid spaces will simply result in double taxation as commercial property tax already has parking built into the valuation.
  3. The report will be shared with members.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Gary Rygus, Director Government Relations (Ontario) at: [email protected] or 416-467-3744