Municipalities must limit tax increases, demand SMEs

More than three-quarters of small and medium-sized business (SME) owners in Quebec hope municipalities will limit the rise in property taxes for businesses after they struggled to repay their debts due to the pandemic.

This is according to a survey released on Tuesday by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

About 53 percent of respondents also want to see a limit on rising utility costs and fees, as well as fees for water, sewer and business licenses and permits.

“Things are not going well for medium-sized businesses. It is not surprising that if we take even a modicum of interest in their situation, we quickly realize that many are still in debt from the pandemic, that their costs are exploding everywhere, that labor shortages are holding them back and preventing us from growing or even to work normally,” explained François Vincent, vice-president for Quebec at the CFIB.

Speeding up the processing of permit applications (37%) and increasing investments in essential infrastructure such as roads, bridges, waterworks and sewage systems (33%) are also among the demands of SMEs.

Almost 27% of SME managers would also like to take part in consultations on converting streets into pedestrian zones.

“Municipalities have a role to play and must respond to their small businesses by strictly managing public finances and limiting tax increases as much as possible,” stressed Mr. Vincent.

The survey was conducted among 478 SME owners in Quebec until November 8, 2023.

Originally posted 2023-11-14 10:12:24.