Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Review 2014

Chamber of Commerce

Year End Business Review

THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is the “Voice of Business” in the city. Chamber President Charla Robinson shares that the Chamber is working hard on a number of issues. Taxation rates, in Thunder Bay, Robinson states, “Is really a concern”.

Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce President
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce President Charla Robinson

The Chamber issued a report earlier in 2014 warning City Council in the city over the issue of spending. While the report was panned by Mayor Keith Hobbs, at the time, the Mayor is now already talking about how it is going to be a difficult year to increase spending at the city level.

At the time, the Chamber reported:

  • Property tax rates are among the highest in Ontario
  • Thunder Bay ranks last against eight comparative cities in overall performance
  • Operating costs are above both the Provincial and Northern average and are higher in 20 of 27 categories
  • Total operating expenses have increased from $346 million in 2002 to $505 million in 2012
  • General government category expenses have almost doubled, from 14.3 million in 2002 to 27.3 million in 2012

The report also forecasts annual taxes for the next four years based on historical data and projected current value assessments:
Property Category Projected Tax Increase Per Year

  • Residential 7.93%
  • Multi-residential 8.70%
  • Commercial 5.17%
  • Industrial 8.53%
  • Large Industrial 4.90%

Getting Progress for Mining

On the Ring of Fire, Robinson states, “Stockholders won’t wait forever”, and that without positive movement by the Ontario Government, the prospects for mining in Northwestern Ontario will face serious challenges.

The Ring of Fire has changed significantly in 2014 with the departure of Cliffs from the Ring of Fire.

Robinson shares that moving forward, with the Ring of Fire means realizing that there are new realities with the mining potential in the region.