Thursday, September 30, 2004

IOL's departure - update

Per a report in The Star, Mayor Miller has chimed in on the departure of Imperial Oil's head-office to Calgary:

We can't offer subsidies but we would have liked to meet with Imperial Oil so see what their issues were and see what the city could have done to accommodate them...

Apparenty, IOL didn't take advantage of the Mayor's open door policy - but then again, this is understandable given the city administration's long history of indifference, neglect, and antagonism towards the business community. Despite the mayor's protestations about the City being proud of its head offices, the property tax structure in this city has helped push a succession of head offices out Toronto over the last few decades. Most of these have migrated to more nearby locations: Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and the like.

The Conservative government under Mike Harris helped stem the tide of jobs out of the city by capping Toronto's punitive taxes on commercial property. The McGuinty regime, however, caved in and allowed a one-time increase of 1.5% to commercial rates. Toronto council took but a blink-of-an-eye to exact this new pound of flesh from the business community. Imperial no doubt read the political tea leaves and decided that this was the start of a trend.

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