“There is probably no group in the city that cares more about the city than the Ismaeli community.
Not only do they give in terms of investment they give in terms of time and involvement and investment in this community.
To me there is no candidate, no other project that is more worthwhile for supporting for an exempt status than this project [Aga Khan Museum & Ismaili Centre, Toronto].
It [Aga Khan Museum & Ismaili Centre, Toronto] is a jewel in this city.”
– John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
Toronto councillors support Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Cultural Centre not paying property taxes
North York Mirror | Nov 03, 2015
By David Nickle
Toronto Council doesn’t want the Aga Khan’s property taxes.
In a vote of 34-1, Toronto Councillors decided Nov. 3 to ask the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Cultural Centre be exempt from paying $331,700 in annual property taxes.
The museum had asked council to endorse the request for similar treatment to the Toronto International Film Festival’s building at King and John Street, which pays no property taxes in recognition of the value its presence brings to the city and the province.
The centre opened in September 2014 and has since become a striking addition to the Don Mills district near Eglinton Avenue East and Don Mills Road. The museum is home to a major collection of artefacts of Islam, from the Aga Khan, Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini Aga Khan IV the current Imam of the Nizari Ismailis.
The tax exemption was supported by everyone on Council, but Ward 5 Councillor John Campbell and by city finance staff.
Toronto’s CFO Roberto Rossini told council staff recommended against the exemption because it might open a floodgate of requests from charities who currently must pay property tax.
But Mayor John Tory and others spoke strongly in favour of the exemption.
“There is probably no group in the city that cares more about the city than the Ismaeli community,” said Tory.
“Not only do they give in terms of investment they give in terms of time and involvement and investment in this community. To me there is no candidate, no other project that is more worthwhile for supporting for an exempt status than this project. It is a jewel in this city.”
Ward 23 Councillor John Filion argued the building and grounds are “amazing,” and added: “This does not set a precedent for anything else because there is nothing else like this.”
City council supports tax exemption for Aga Khan Museum, says “no other project is more worthwhile.”
By Ben Rappaport | Posted: Nov 10 2015 11:47 am
City council has confirmed its support for a property tax exemption for the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre, a museum of Islamic art located in the Don Mills area.
The council voted 34-1 on Tuesday to recommend providing a property tax exemption for the museum.
Almost all of the council members expressed admiration of the Aga Khan Museum and believed that it was worthy of the tax-exempt status that it had requested.
“There is no property, there is no other project that is more worthwhile in terms of supporting an exempt status than this particular project,” councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong said.
The lone opponent of the decision was councilor John Campbell, who said the majority of museums in Toronto do not have a tax-exempt status.
Granted its request, the Aga Khan Museum will avoid paying $331,700 annually in property taxes.
Ten encouraging signs for Toronto: Hume
By: Christopher Hume Urban Issues and Architecture, Published on Sun Nov 22 2015
From the lakeshore to the Aga Khan Museum, lots of things are going right for Toronto, argues Christopher Hume.
City council’s decision to waive property taxes of $331,700 for the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre despite a staff recommendation against it was a rare display of civic wisdom.
Fear of setting a precedent is not only unfounded — other cultural institutions are exempt — it misses the point that not every building’s contribution to the city comes in the form of cash.
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali