Côte St. Luc council unanimously passed a new bylaw establishing a new level of taxation, for non-residential properties evaluated at more than $45 million.

The law increases taxes for those properties evaluated at more than $45 million, in order to “progressively reduce” the tax rate paid for properties evaluated under that amount

The bylaw was passed following a special Côte St.Luc council meeting to explain and pass the city 2018 budget. The council is able to do this via Quebec’s Bill 122, which states that as Jan. 1, 2018, “each municipality may, by bylaw, impose new municipal taxes in its territory —provided that they are direct taxes— and charge regulatory dues.”

“This is to help reduce the tax burden for commercial non-residential establishments, most of which are small and medium-sized stores located in larger shopping centres or strip malls,” explained Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who has the finance portfolio on council. “This is a first for Côte St. Luc, and from what I understand, we’re among the first [municipalities] to adopt this.”

Reading from a resolution, Erdelyi pointed out that the city’s non-residential tax base is mostly small retail establishments and a medical office in three shopping centres and five strip malls — the large centres include Quartier Cavendish, the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre, and Decarie Square — the latter has a new medical complex.

“The municipal evaluation for commercial properties containing small businesses ranges from $622,800 to $42,070,000,” the resolution says. “The city relies mostly on residential property taxes, 85 percent of its tax base. Approximately 15 percent of the main property tax base is collected from non-residential properties.

“In order to make the city more alluring for small retail businesses/medical office operators who rent in large and small centres and whose municipal taxes are usually assumed in their rents, and to afford them a greater chance at success, council wishes to develop a strategy to progressively reduce the non-residential rate for commercial retail, and increase the tax rate for the portion of any non-residential property evaluated in excess of $45 million.”

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