Economic Development – Ensuring prosperity for the Toronto
The Board of Trade is focused on creating the conditions to encourage
economic growth, as well as boost productivity, job creation and quality
of life in the Toronto region. Developing and promoting our
region’s strengths as a knowledge economy is a top priority.
Smart taxation and tax reform, including leveling the GTA realty tax
playing field, are also areas of focus.
The Board works closely with all three levels of government to create
policies that advance commercialization, innovation and research and
The 2009 Ontario Budget provided important successes for businesses in
the Toronto region, with the provincial government acting on nearly all
of the Board’s recommendations. Key measures including
harmonization of the GST and PST; reductions of both the provincial
corporate tax rate and the corporate minimum tax rate; nearly $1.5
billion for the green economy, research and innovation; and more than $9
billion in transportation and transit infrastructure spending over the
next two years.
The Board advised and worked closely with the City of Toronto on the
creation of Invest Toronto and Build Toronto (the successors to the
Toronto Economic Development Corporation), both of which are vital to
enhancing Toronto’s economic development.
The Board advocated for an economic development leader at the municipal
level of government, resulting in the appointment of a Senior Economic
Advisor in the Mayor’s Office.
The Board championed the introduction of Tax Increment Equivalency
Grants (TIEGs), one of the new powers available under the City of
Toronto Act, 2008. TIEGs allow the City to rebate a portion of the
incremental realty tax increases associated with commercial or
industrial property redevelopment. Coupled with provincial
property tax reforms – also championed by the Board – TIEGs
accelerate the reduction of the differences in commercial and industrial
realty taxes between the city centre and the surrounding municipalities
of the Toronto region.
The Board successfully lobbied the provincial government to lower the
Business Education Tax, as announced in the 2007 Ontario Budget.
By 2014, this move will result in an annual savings of approximately
$200 million for Toronto businesses.