New Council Considers Local Tax Rates

Monday, December 1, Owen Sound’s new council was sworn into office, beginning their 2014-2018 term

The Grey Bruce Business Journal asked the new council,

Do you think local business taxes are at a fair rate, or should be lowered or raised? Should there be any changes in the municipal services provided to businesses, (such as garbage removal)?’

We are awaiting responses from Councillor Peter Lemon.


Mayor-elect Ian Boddy

Mayor Ian Boddy

‘The City was required to reduce the tax ratios for industry and commercial properties relative to residential rates over time when we rejoined the County. Since being elected to council, I have actively worked to accelerate the transition to reduce the tax burden for businesses sooner. Council has taken that step and as a result, some industrial and commercial land owners have seen a reduction in actual taxes paid. While we had a reputation of having some of the highest industrial and commercial ratios in the province, we will continue to edge closer to the bottom. This has already helped attract new development and will benefit all.’ Mayor Ian Boddy


Arlene Wright

Deputy Mayor Arlene Wright

‘I am not sure what you mean by this question however I do believe that the City must change some of the bylaws that I feel are restricting new industrial and business growth.’
Deputy Mayor Arlene Wright


Travis Dodd - Owen Sound Council Candidate

Councillor Travis Dodd

‘I believe there is a necessity for both City Hall and the local businesses to work together at finding a solution to some of the issues that are currently ongoing. As new businesses come to the area, we need to ensure the processes are maneuvered in a more efficient and timely manner, that will assist new opportunities rather than impede the process.

As we all are aware, the more active businesses we have in the community, the more tax dollars we have as a City, which will reduce some of the financial strain that businesses face today.’ Councillor Travis Dodd


Councillor-elect Scott Greig

Councillor Scott Greig

‘The first change I would look to implement would be the removal of the door which positions itself between the developer and key staff when entering. I support a new open door customer service approach as the first change to business for growing our community.

People have ideas and investment dollars. You can embrace them for choosing to look at our city to invest or place enough roadblocks in their way that they will go elsewhere. I desire for them to invest in our city.’
Councillor Scott Greig


Marion Koepke

Councillor Marion Koepke

‘If there were some suggestions on other services that should be offered to local business I am willing to listen.’
Councillor Marion Koepke


Jim McManaman - Owen Sound City Council

Councillor Jim McManaman

‘A regional approach to sharing all of the services in Owen Sound and Grey and Bruce is the long term solution for many issues…tourism, economic development, recreation, police and fire services, waste management and more. That will require respectful discussions based on the principle of fairness for all the citizens of this area. I am in favour of investigating a wide range of options, including a regional governance model, municipal amalgamations and/or modifying the City boundaries.’
Councillor Jim McManaman


Councillor-elect Brian O'Leary

Councillor Brian O’Leary

‘Perks would be nice but the reality is this city is more strapped financially than most people know. What I do know for sure is this: The business community should have a voice on major decisions made by our city council. The Small business enterprise centre provides excellent service for small business as well as youth starting up business as well.’
Councillor Brian O’Leary


Richard Thomas - Owen Sound Council Candidate

Councillor Richard Thomas

‘That question can be answered through a change in the relationship between the business community and the City. We need to foster more open lines of communication. I would like to see a working group of representatives from business, industry and the City Council that could meet regularly and work together on issues of mutual concern, such as levels of services. The outcomes of this new approach would be specific and measurable: improved communications; a better understanding of positions in advance of new policies; and a proactive approach to issues in Owen Sound that affect everyone.’ Councillor Richard Thomas


The Grey Bruce Business Journal also asked,
‘First of all, tell us a little about your background and overall platform.’

What strategies do you have in mind to stimulate economic growth in the region?’

‘What do you see has been the largest challenge over the last 10 years, faced by business operators in your region?’

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