Office Incentives Study

On Dec. 9, 2013, Council endorsed the Office Incentives Study Recommendations Report and Implementation Strategy. The report recommends a series of incentives that aim to encourage and attract various forms of office development within Richmond Hill's employment lands, the Richmond Hill Centre and other centres and corridors identified in the Richmond Hill Official Plan (2010). The recommended incentives are:

1. Community Improvement Planning (CIP)

2. A Tax Increment Equivalent Grant (TIEG) program, considered through a CIP

3. Promotion of the Town's competitive tax rates and vacancy rebate program to new and existing office users

4. Review of methods of development charges deferral as part of the current Development Charges Review Background Study and update project

5. Continued implementation of Economic Development Programs

6. Continued monitoring for new financial and non-financial incentive opportunities by Town Staff

One of the recommended incentives is a Community Improvement Plan (CIP), which will allow for the consideration, development and administration of certain incentive programs such as tax increment equivalent grants (TIEGS) and other grants, loans and rebates in Richmond Hill. In addition, the Town's Competitive Taxes and Vacancy Rebate Program will be promoted to new and existing office users; methods of Development Charge deferral will be reviewed; Economic Development Programs will continue to be implemented; and Richmond Hill will monitor for new financial and non-financial incentive opportunities.

The Richmond Hill Office Incentives Study consists of three stages with the following deliverables:

1. Background Information on Richmond Hill's Office Inventory and Market Context (SRPRS.12.101 to June 14, 2012 Economic Development Task Force), which provided information on Richmond Hill's office inventory and position in the regional office market.

2. Opportunities for Incentives Report as part of the Office Incentives Study (SRPRS.12.171 to November 8, 2012 Economic Development Task Force), which identified potential incentives that the Town may wish to undertake in order to attract and/or retain office development based on the Town's market context.

3. A Recommendations Report and Implementation Strategy (SRPRS.13.146), which provides recommendations and an implementation strategy based on feedback received from the Economic Development Task Force, consultation with the business community and other stakeholders, and analysis by Town Staff.