Staff in the city’s economic development branch say they want to create 3,000 new jobs, particularly in areas such as wireless, photonics, clean technologies, life sciences, aerospace and defence as well as financial and government services.
They hope this will create more high-paying jobs and diversify the the largely suburban area’s economy beyond the hospitality and retail sectors.
The tax breaks are necessary because Orleans has a greater proportion of people who live in the area but commute elsewhere for work than other parts of the city, said the report by the city’s economic development branch.
The report cited a study from 2006 which showed that only 20 per cent of people who work in Orleans live there as well. That’s far lower than the 50 per cent of people who work and also live in Kanata, a similar suburb to the west of the city.
This creates several problems, staff said. Higher traffic, for example, is an issue for the city’s transportation infrastructure because more people are travelling into the city’s downtown core for work.
Staff proposed creating a mechanism that would give companies who relocate to the area more time to pay taxes on their new developments.
The report cited the example of a business that begins by paying $10,000 on the property its using but soon have to pay $100,000 because of the increased value from development in the area. Staff want to give those businesses a longer period than usual to pay the difference in those taxes.
City staff will consult with businesses in Orleans then return to councillors with a report that would create the program, which they refer to as the Orleans Community Improvement Plan.
The report will be formally tabled at the city’s finance and economic development committee meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6.