The City of Toronto’s Music Advisory Committee (TMAC) is hoping to help the city’s live music venues, which are really feeling the financial burden of the current COVID-19 lockdowns.
In a digital meeting, TMAC approved a motion that was intended to expand on the current Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Subclass Designation so that it also covers live music venues. This Property Tax Subclass, which was created in 2018, is aimed at fostering affordable and sustainable artist hubs in the city.
Live music venues and artists were already strained before this pandemic, but it has made it clearer than ever that we need to act now if we want to preserve our city's vibrant music culture. That's why today we approved a motion to expand property tax relief to live venues. pic.twitter.com/6Z8ACa6pBs
— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) May 13, 2020
The new expansion, according to TMAC, will allow venue operators to see their commercial property taxes reduced by 50 per cent. TMAC hopes this will “go a long way towards reducing the rental costs for operators, helping to mitigate the economic impact of the current pandemic and providing much needed financial support on a permanent, go-forward basis.”
To qualify for the designation, Venues have to host live music events on at least 144 days every year, and have a capacity of less than 1,500 attendees.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the existing inequities and failures in our society,” TMAC co-chair and Toronto Councillor Joe Cressy explains in a release. “Being in an already precarious position, live music workers, artists, and venues have been hit hard by the pandemic. We need to stabilize and support the live music community to weather the storm, but we also need to be working to build a more vibrant and sustainable music economy for the 21st century – not simply going back to the pre-pandemic status quo.”
Lead photo courtesy of Jeff Hitchcock.