Want some fries with that tax hike?

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By Shaheen Ramputh

Students can continue to ship at their favourite stores around Ryerson without fearing price increases because of the new property assessments.

Some businesses around Ryerson say they won’t hike prices, even if they are hit with higher property taxes.

Metro’s property owners are facing actual value assessment, which determines the amount of property tax they will be charged. Drastic tax hikes are predicted for properties in the downtown core, with reductions for suburban owners.

Lick’s Burgers and Ice Cream shop’s manager said he won’t raise prices.

“We have to remain competitive,” said Derrick Lamoureux. “We can’t have higher prices in our downtown store but have the other stores keep lower rates. It can’t work that way,” he said.

Steve Rockwell, owner of the World’s Biggest Jean Store, pays $60,000 a year in property tax for his store on the corner of Yonge and Dundas streets.

Rockwell said if a business cannot afford to pay its taxes, it should think of alternatives to raising prices. “You’ll do nothing but drive your shoppers away,” said Rockwell.

As a non-profit institution, Ryerson need not to worry since it does not pay property taxes.

“We are not affected by this,” said Manuel Ravinsky, coordinator of campus planning and construction. “So students will see no increases of any kind at the bookstore over this.”

But Ravinski warns that businesses within Ryerson, including Tim Horton’s and the parking lot at the corner of Gould and Church streets, are not exempt.

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