Coronavirus: Toronto city councillor calls for postponement of commercial property taxes

A Toronto city councillor is calling for commercial property taxes, water and waste collection bills to be postponed for local businesses in the city amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Coun. Brad Bradford, who represents Beaches-East York, called on Mayor John Tory to support the measures in a letter sent on Saturday.

“In the days and weeks since the COVID-19 (outbreak) began affecting daily life in Toronto, I have been hearing from business owners who are under serious pressure as a result of the outbreak,” Bradford said.

“On behalf of my community, I am urging you to place the City’s full support behind the businesses through the difficult weeks and months ahead.”

In addition to recommending that commercial property taxes, water bills and waste collection bills be deferred, Bradford called for the use of capital reserves to provide “emergency relief” for local businesses.

Bradford said landlords should be urged to use discretion and flexibility in collecting rent, and programs should be prepared to help businesses after the outbreak subsides.

“Local businesses employ some 650,000 people in this city. Maintaining the health of these businesses as we maintain our personal health is critical for the long-term strength of our communities,” he said.

Lawvin Hadisi, a spokesperson for Tory, responded to the letter in a statement sent to Global News on Sunday.

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