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Think Before You Tax


Another issue that has generated reaction from Bisnow readers is Metrolinx's proposed 15% increase in development charges to help pay for rapid transit around the GTA. Not so fast, say some of you, as increasing development charges will drive business out of the region. Bank of America Merrill Lynch SVP Carmin Di Fiore says while offices, retail and residential are all about getting people to and from, and while offices and condos built on or near subways and GO stations generate greater valuations, industrial is a different beast.


In the case of industrial, it is more about getting products to and from and less about people movement. (Don't believe everything you read in John Steinbeck novels... nobody's ridin' the rails anymore.) Roadways, rail sidings, ingress, and egress are more important. "Taxing all forms of real estate to pay for transit improvements may be judicious, but it's not equitable," Carmin says. It seems punitive for industrial development--which is the least dense and also benefits the least from Metrolinx infrastructure--to shoulder a big part of the cost.