Vacant retail spaces: Montreal misses the mark says Taxpayers Federation

Author: Renaud Brossard 07/05/2020

MONTRÉAL, QC : The Canadian Taxpayers Federation condemns the Plante-Dorais administration’s response to the problem of vacant retail spaces on Montreal’s shopping streets.

“Retailers are not closing because of the ratio of residential to commercial taxes,” said CTF Quebec Director Renaud Brossard. “Retailers are closing because their tax bills are too high.”

According to a Segma Recherche survey commissioned by the City of Montreal, the number one solution favoured by retailers to solve the issue with vacant retail spaces is to reduce or freeze commercial taxes.

Out of the 11 recommendations retained by the Commission sur le développement économique et urbain et de l’habitation, only one addresses the issue of commercial taxation. It is recommending to reduce the ratio of commercial to residential property taxes.

“Retailers have been very clear: they need lower taxes to stay in business,” added Brossard. “Unfortunately, it seems the Plante-Dorais administration prefers to protect its budgets rather than save our local businesses.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation presented a report during the consultations on vacant retail spaces taking place last January.