Local Families Now Paying For TDSB Lack of Leadership
This petition had 226 supporters
Dear Community Members,
Our club (SC Toronto) has recently begun playing at Central Tech Stadium. The facility is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood and we look forward to playing there for years to come.
The operator of Central Tech Stadium is Razor Management Inc. The operator partnered with the TDSB to build Central Tech Stadium and another facility at Monarch Park Stadium (Coxwell and Danforth). TDSB students use the facilities during the day and the operator permits the facility out at night to clubs like ours.
According to information found online, the City of Toronto asked MPAC to assess the operator at Monarch Park Stadium, after the Central Tech Stadium was approved by City Council. Late last year, the operator was handed a property tax bill of $600,000 which almost prevented the completion of Central Tech Stadium. MPAC advised the operator that the City has requested that they assess the new facility at Central Technical School as well as Monarch Park.
The operator asked the TDSB for assistance because the assessment amount seemed punitive, seeing as the operator does not own the land and TDSB students use the facilities the majority of the time. In addition, no other operator or community partner in partnership with the TDSB has been assessed by MPAC. (250+ daycares, solar companies, other partners who have helped the TDSB improve their facilities)
The TDSB has the ability to grant the operator a property tax exemption. Late last year, TDSB staff wrote a positive report to the Board of Trustees recommending the exemption. In a rare move, this positive staff report was dismissed by TDSB Trustees and voted down. As a result, the operator has been forced to pass all property taxes on to facility not-for-profit user groups like ours. There is now a property tax surcharge that is being passed down to families who live in our community.
Our local community is being penalized for using a facility in our backyard. We are better off driving to Lamport Stadium, where the City of Toronto has given their partner (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) an exemption or other facilities like Downsview that do not pay property tax.
It has also come to light over the last year that BMO Field (MLSE) has not paid property tax in the 10 years since they have been open and they do not have a property tax exemption from the City of Toronto. In our view, our small not for profit club should not be paying property taxes that professional sports franchises are not required to pay. It seems a little rich that City Councillors are going after the TDSB and their partner, when the City is dolling out exemptions to their partners and looking the other way at BMO Field, when they could be collecting approximately $12 - $15 million a year in property tax from a major professional sports organization (MLSE) who can afford to pay their fair share.
Our club General Manager has learned that both the Peel District School Board and the York Catholic School Board have granted their partners exemptions in recent months for identical projects. It is the right thing to do. School boards across the province, especially the TDSB, are broke. They do not have the money to build facilities like these without partnerships like these.
The TDSB Trustees needs to hear from our club and our community that we should not be subsiding a professional sports franchise and if the City of Toronto AND other school boards are granting their partners exemptions, the TDSB should follow suit. In the event that the TDSB Trustees continue to refuse to listen, our club will continue to be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars annually, that no other community or club in the City is paying. There is a double standard and the community is now on the hook for the lack of leadership at the TDSB and this needs to change.
Please support our petition and let our local Trustee Ausma Malik and all TDSB Trustees know how disappointed we are in their lack of leadership on this issue.
Concerned Downtown Soccer Moms / Families
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