Committee approves 15 per cent tax discount for 10,000 small businesses


Following approval from the Finance and Economic Development Committee, the City could soon adopt a new small business property tax subclass. Qualifying properties would be eligible for a permanent property tax discount of 15 per cent, phased in over two years starting in 2022.

There are approximately 5,800 commercial and industrial properties across Ottawa that would qualify, representing more than 10,000 small businesses. To ensure no overall loss in revenues, the City would eliminate the commercial and industrial excess land subclass discounts and offset the remaining revenue gap through a modest tax increase to larger commercial and industrial residual businesses.

Barrhaven East could be the name of a new ward in Ottawa after the Committee received a report on the implementation of new ward boundaries for the next term of Council.

Six existing wards may also get new names. The changes would take effect for the 2022 municipal elections and include renaming:

  • Orléans to Orléans East-Cumberland
  • Innes to Orléans West-Innes
  • Barrhaven to Barrhaven West
  • Cumberland to Orléans South-Navan
  • Rideau-Goulbourn to Rideau-Jock
  • Gloucester-South Nepean to Riverside South-Findlay Creek

In support of the City’s economic recovery efforts, the Committee also approved recommendations to enhance social sustainability in the City’s procurement activities. The social procurement recommendations would help the City generate additional social value from its procurement activities. Changes would be made to the Procurement By-law to include sustainability considerations in procurement. Council will be asked to approve a sole-source rationale for social enterprises.

The Committee approved a pilot program to adopt an Outsource Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) model for adopting the Prudent Investor Standard. The pilot aims to help the City reduce inefficiencies, generate additional non-tax revenue, promote environmental and social stewardship and better manage internal costs to ensure greater long-term financial sustainability. This is a well-established model in the private sector and other municipalities globally, but requires new regulation from the Province.

The Committee also received an in-camera legal update on Light Rail Transit. Following the in-camera briefing, the Committee approved a motion directing City staff to deliver a Notice of Dispute under the Project Agreement (PA) with respect to Rideau Transit Group (RTG) Defaults related to the August 8 and September 19, 2021 derailments. The Committee directed City staff to proceed promptly to have the Defaults confirmed through the contractual dispute resolution process in the PA, up to and including asking the Court to confirm the validity of the RTG defaults. Staff were also directed to report back on the outcomes.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, October 13.