Economic Development – Show Me the Money (Again)


In my last post I mentioned economic incentives for potential business relocates and startups. I’ll make some suggestions, but alas there is little chance our town council would implement any of them. By its very nature local government is at the bottom of the food chain in terms of being on the receiving end of higher levels of government largesse and they like it that way. The money flow usually stops there.

In terms of business the first thing is always the money. Rick Crouch did a very good property tax comparison on his blog and I am damned if I can find it (link it to me Rick if you read this). We have the 2nd highest property taxes (behind Meaford) in our local area and as I have stated previously property taxes are only going up in the future (unless we get more economic development). For those of you that have never entered into a commercial lease, when you rent commercial space it not like renting a residential property, where the landlord absorbs the property taxes. In a commercial lease, property taxes are added after you have figured out the rental price per square foot. High property taxes end up on the bottom line as a cost of doing business. Why would you come to Collingwood when it’s more affordable, property tax wise elsewhere. So maybe a property tax freeze for 5 years for new startups or relocates? Think of it this way the life blood of this towns finances for the past decade has been development charges. The financial crunch in Collingwood is coming because of a slow down in people relocating here. Every new job is a residence, whether it be purchased or rented, new or existing. That job permeates down through the system from buying a car at a local car dealerships, to bums on seats in local restaurants. So a property tax break would be an investment into future tax revenues.

Another area that this town council has control over, because thankfully they retained 50% of Collus, is the cost of electricity. Ontario, in a large part because of this current provincial governments gas plant shenanigan’s and completely wrong headed and ill-conceived green initiatives, including closing down perfectly good coal generating plants. Has some of the highest electricity rates in North America. When Collus sells us our electricity there is obviously some profit in the transaction, that could be another area where we could incentivize a company coming here if they were to be a high electricity consumer. Imagine what a selling point that would be to a startup company.

Another incentive is fairly simple. A company decides to relocate to this town and decides to build a facility here. EDM studies the business plan if it looks feasible the development fees are waived by the town for a period of 5 years. A charge for the full amount is held against the property. If the business is still operating after 5 years the charges are written off.

Last but not least the town pays a bounty to a potential company of so much per head for every full time job created.

We have to do something to get people’s attention. We all know the lifestyle benefits of living in this area, no crime, good community, summer and winter playground. But how many of us have to go elsewhere to make a decent living? How many of our kids come out of university and return to Collingwood only to be a barista at Starbucks making $12 per hour with a $40k education? There are no factory jobs coming back any time soon and service industry jobs only pass the existing money around from person to person. Working at McDonalds et al is fine if you are a manager, or still in high school, or retired. But it will never pay the rent or support a family.

Real jobs mean economic growth and development. I will stop now because its turning into a rant and the “Professor” will tell me off again.

One more post on this subject and that will deal with Nimbyism.


6 thoughts on “Economic Development – Show Me the Money (Again)

  1. Pingback: Starting 2014 with a clean slate… |

  2. New manufacturing has minimum chance of success in Ontario, so forget about Collingwood for any large scale manufacturing. In the US, local state county governments are offering free land with a manufacture plant as long as the employer employs 10 people for a period 10 years. They also offer many other corporate welfare payments include the one you are referring to in tax free holiday.

    What type job should we be looking to bring to Collingwood? High paying service jobs, engineers, medical, teachers. How do we encourage these people to come to Collingwood? Answer this question you solve the problem

    Secondly, phone call is not going to cut it. We receive phone from US every 2 week from different state commerce departments.

    Third, a display is my reason to come to Collingwood.

    Financial incentives, our town pockets aren’t deep enough.

    Last comment, what advantages does Collingwood offer? Go for it; give us your best shot

    • Defeatist.
      I bet when you play hockey you never take a shot on net because you think the goalie might be too good.
      “Nobody” is generating ideas. That is how problems are solved.
      What do you suggest Paul??

      • Defeatist…or realist

        You asked… here you go
        What type job should we be looking to bring to Collingwood? High paying service jobs; Engineers, Medical, Teacher

        Second, what do we have to offer the employer? This may be hard one. I have been thinking about this one. Regional hospital, ski hills, large body of water, beaches, forest area, farm land, close proximity to large population,

        Let sit back and think about this one


        We will become the Olympic /athletics training area for Canada.

        Before everyone starts laughing, Lake Plaid has held two Olympic has a population 2500 repeat 2500 but has large population close by, east coast US. We have the Golden Horseshoe

        I am not suggesting hold the Olympic, I am suggesting we will train Canada high performance athletes

        How I see it.
        We develop training centres. Take a look of Olympic events below. Which one can’t we do in Collingwood? Most could be done here or plan could be developed to do them here
        Special medical care centre for athlete
        State art surgery with state of art surgeon you want the surgeon thinking” I want be with the best… I need to live in Collingwood”
        Special manufacture equipment high performance equipment: lighter, fast, new shape, this mean we are not competing with global production. We look at low production but will need for engineers chemical, design, mechanical. We need them all…
        Look at spin off on this plan: hotels, restaurants, downtown, housing, spas. You name it. We all gain
        More ideas but you get the drift
        Bigger question money to do this/ where to get it
        Olympic events
        • Archery
        • Athletics
        • Badminton
        • Basketball
        • Beach Volleyball
        • Boxing
        • Canoe Slalom
        • Canoe Sprint
        • Cycling BMX
        • Cycling Mountain Bike
        • Cycling Road
        • Cycling Track
        • Diving
        • Equestrian / Dressage
        • Equestrian / Eventing
        • Equestrian / Jumping
        • Fencing
        • Football
        • Golf
        • Gymnastics Artistic
        • Gymnastics Rhythmic
        • Handball
        • Hockey
        • Judo
        • Modern Pentathlon
        • Rowing
        • Rugby
        • Sailing
        • Shooting
        • Swimming
        • Synchronized Swimming
        • Table Tennis
        • Taekwondo
        • Tennis
        • Trampoline
        • Triathlon
        • Volleyball
        • Water Polo
        • Weightlifting
        • Wrestling Freestyle
        • Wrestling Greco-Roman
        • Winter
        • Alpine Skiing
        • Biathlon
        • Bobsleigh
        • Cross Country Skiing
        • Curling
        • Figure skating
        • Freestyle Skiing
        • Ice Hockey
        • Luge
        • Nordic Combined
        • Short Track Speed Skating
        • Skeleton
        • Ski Jumping
        • Snowboard
        • Speed skating

  3. Sorry to disappoint you……
    You make very good points that I absolutely agree with.

    …and you scored only a tiny 1 out of 10 on the “Rant Scale”
    (which just makes your argument that much more compelling)

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