RELEASE: TO ALL MEDIA and interested individuals

Contact:  George Christidis 416-481-2255 x222

Two years ago the City of Toronto introduced a new sign tax, one part of which dealt with a tax on Video Billboards. Because of the manner in which it was imposed it resulted in an unfair tax.In what turned out to be an unfair judgment, the committee which devised the tax did not take into consideration some basic factors when planning the rate of the tax. They omitted to consider the size of the sign, the location of the sign or the revenue acquired by the sign.These three factors are extremely important when arriving at the value of the sign.

As a result of their lack of consideration of these factors, they simply decided all Video Billboards should pay a $24,000 a year tax.In other words, if we are to follow their thinking, a 700 square foot shack in the far reaches of the city would pay the same tax as a 7000 square foot home in Forest Hill or a 565 Square foot condo on Steeles Avenue, would paythe same tax as a 2500 square foot condo on Bloor Street.Size and location didn’t seem to be of concern to this committee and yet, size and location have a great effect on the revenue a sign generates.

The tax should be based on revenues, similar to income tax.In other words a Video Billboard sign whose yearly gross is $100,000 per year should not be paying the same tax as a Video Billboard with a yearly gross of $500,000 a year.It’s unfair. By the time the owner of the $100,000 gross per year sign pays for all of his costs including rents and commissions, he will, likely end up with $12,000 in profits. After paying a $24,000 tax he’ll suffer a loss of $12,000.Whereas, the owner of the Video Billboard with earnings of $500,000 a year has no such problem.

We are not against a sign tax. We do believe, however, that the current sign tax is unfair. We are sure that all fair minded councilors will see their way clear to re-adjusting this part of the sign tax to make it more equitable and just.