Empty Commercial/Industrial Buildings
There has been a lot of discussion about what to do with the commercial/industrial buildings that have been sitting empty. I promised that I would get more information from staff and provide clarity on this matter. I’m including an email response from staff and I hope this will to provide clarity.
We have received an inquiry regarding the plan to phase-out the vacant non-residential property rebate program by 2020. We believe that information related to the phase-out of the program is relevant to all of Council so we are sharing the response with everyone:
Property owners with vacant commercial and industrial buildings currently receive a property tax rebate. In 2017, there were a number of changes introduced to the Regional vacancy rebate program with the aim of phasing out the program in order to encourage properties to be returned to productive use. These changes were brought to Regional Council on June 8, 2017 following public consultations. These changes included phasing out of the program as well as adjustments to the eligibility criteria, such as no longer providing for vacancy rebates for properties that had received the rebate for the last three consecutive years. The rebate for 2018 has been reduced to 20% from 30% and will be eliminated in its entirety for the 2020 tax year.
The Regional Report is attached. As noted in the Regional report, the phase-out of the vacant property rebate program is intended to encourage infill development, reduce vacancies, and promote equity amongst taxpayers.
More information on the changes to the Program supported by Regional Council can be found here:
Canadian Tire Distribution Centre Taxes
There has been some confusion around the amount of taxes collected from Canadian Tire Distribution Centre. Please see the link below and I hope this helps to clear up any confusion.
Amazon Distribution Centre
Over the last couple of days there has been a lot of discussion on social media regarding the announcement of the Amazon Distribution Centre coming to Bolton. I promised you that I would seek clarification from Town staff and provide you with the information I received. Today I spoke to Mr David Arbuckle from the Economic Department at the Town and what I was told is that the developer who owns the land on Coleraine West had been negotiating with Amazon and made the deal with them. I as a Councillor was not privy to or participated in any of these discussions and none of this ever came before Council as a whole so naturally I was surprised to learn of this decision as you all were. I don’t know for certain if any members of Council were privy to or participated in any of the negotiations with Amazon, that would be something that members of Council will have to disclose. Because the lands were brought into the urban boundaries and zoned for this type of Development, Amazon is not required to go through a public process they are only required to go through a site plan application process which does not need Council’s approval only staff’s approval. What I did find puzzling in speaking to the planning department is that an application had been submitted to have Amazon locate here. I have asked for the date the application was submitted and I am still waiting for that information. I can also tell you that when the Council decided to rezone these land back in October 2016 to permit warehousing, distribution centres and other types of Development such as these I voted against that decision because I felt that Bolton has had its fair share of warehousing and distribution centres and we don’t need anymore because we just don’t have the infrastructure to support such types of Development. I will produce the recorded vote for you to view as well as the audio so that it is clear and transparent and so that you will also see for yourselves my advocacy for Bolton for the last four years.
I hope this information helps and I would be happy to host a meeting to answer any questions you may have and provide clarification on any of your concerns.
“An amazing boost for Caledon! Well done to Mayor Allan Thompson and councillors Jennifer Innis and Nick DeBoer along with the Economic Development Team at the Town of Caledon!
Johanna Downey’s post just revealed who the members of Council were that brokered this deal. I’m disappointed that there was no mention anywhere that these politicians were involved in these negotiations.
This has been the problem on Council and this clearly demonstrates the divide on Council, hence the reason for change.”
Tragedy on Highway 50
Many lives were lost this weekend in Caledon and to the south of us. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have lost their loved ones. I urge everyone to please slow down, leave a little earlier to get to your destination safely. My heart breaks for those families who has suffered this great loss. I have written to the Province to ask for their assistance in putting safety measures in place on Hwy 50 so that these fatalities will stop. There are no words that can heal the pain but to these families please know your in my prayer.