[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto city staff want to see Victoria University pay property tax on Yorkville land”
Mike Smee of CBC News reports on the latest regarding Victoria University’s holding of extensive amounts of Bloor Street West retail property while paying few taxes.
The head of Victoria University tried to convince Toronto councillors the school can come to a deal with the city — without involving the province — about the controversial tax-free status of the land the institution owns in an upscale Yorkville neighbourhood.
William Robins appeared before the government management committee Tuesday to answer questions as city staff want the school to pay taxes on a parcel of land it owns on the so-called mink mile; the school’s tenants include names like Prada, Cartier, and Michael Kors.
“You can understand, I’m sure, that on the face of it, it looks as if some of the city’s most successful and lucrative retailers are potentially getting a break while we are struggling with our revenues at the city,” Coun. Janet Davis said.
While the school — better known as the University of Toronto’s Victoria College — does not pay property taxes on the land, it’s unclear whether it does on the buildings themselves.
“The lease arrangements are complicated,” Robins told the government management committee. “But this is very much part of the ongoing negotiations with city staff, I can assure you that.”