$2.9 million tax break for Ottawa Porsche dealership receives the green light
OTTAWA -- Ottawa city council has given the green light to a $2.9 million tax break for a new Porsche dealership in Vanier.
Council voted 15 to 9 to approve a grant under the Community Improvement Plan initiative to build a Porsche dealership at the corner of Montreal Road and St. Laurent Boulevard. The project by Mrak Holdings Inc., a.k.a. Mark Motors of Ottawa, would be built at 458 Montreal Road.
Under the Community Improvement Plan approved by Council, business owners can apply for a grant equal to 75 per cent of the municipal tax increase attributable to the redevelopment. A report says the goal of the Montreal Road Community Improvement Plan is to "stimulate business investment, urban renewal and property upgrades in the area."
Coun. Catherine McKenney was one of nine councillors who opposed the tax break for the Porsche dealership.
"I agree with the Community Improvement Plan, but I know and what people see here is that this application does not meet the criteria," said McKenney about the CIP proposal for the Porsche dealership.
"A car dealership, no matter whether it's Honda, or a Porsche or a Volkswagen, it does not first off belong on a traditional main street. This does not the meet the criteria of a CIP, it will do nothing for urban renewal."
Approximately 70 people gathered at the site of the proposed Porsche dealership Tuesday evening to oppose the tax grant.
Coun. Diane Deans told Council she doubted any councillors who supported the Community Improvement Plan when it was developed in 2019 thought it would support a luxury car dealership.
"I don't think it fits. I don't think a clear case has been made that this incentive is required for the Mark Motors project to move forward at all," said Deans. "I don't believe there's a clear community benefit."
Coun. Riley Brockington, Deans, Jeff Leiper, Carol Anne Meehan, Rick Chiarelli, Theresa Kavanagh, Keith Egli, McKenney and Shawn Menard voted against the tax break for the Porsche dealership.
"It will lead to a $17 million investment on Montreal Road, it will create about 20 jobs in that neigthborhood," said Mayor Jim Watson.
Watson noted auto dealerships were not excluded from the Community Improvement Plan when approved by committee and Council.
A motion introduced by Watson was approved to use property tax revenue generated by the redevelopment for affordable housing.