Markham Citizens Coalition for Responsive Government

Markham Citizens Coalition for Responsive Government

Proposed Markham Arena:  The Facts:

The fate of the arena will be determined by the 13 people on council, not the residents.

The City is going to enter into a partnership with GTA Centre LP.

The City will borrow $325 million at 4.6 % for 20 years which, with interest, adds up to $496 million dollars.  This means the City is borrowing not just its half of the cost, but also GTA Centre’s share.

The City will own the building.

The City and GTA Centre will both pay back $ 1, 036, 000.00 per month.

Remington will guarantee the portion of debt owed by GTA Centre.

City of Markham will repay its portion using:

1.A “special levy” (ranging from $2000 to $6500) already implemented and placed on ALL new homes being built in the City of Markham.

2.Section 37 funds which originate from developers, as a result of their being allowed to build higher and denser, and which are generally used for local community amenities in the area experiencing intensification. 

3.Tax Increment Financing (TIF*), will apply to the Markham-only portion of the non-residential property tax increase, resulting from the improvement of a non-residential property in Markham Centre.

4. Parking Revenue 

5. A $3.00 ticket surcharge.

The majority of the money will be generated by the “special levy” which will be paid by the future homeowners of Markham. This levy will be compounded annually at 2% on March 1 each year. The amounts at year 20 will be 48.59% higher than those at inception (ranging from $2971 to $9658).

As the City will own the building, Markham loses:

      Property taxes of $ 3.6 million per year (if building is assessed at $180     million)

         Development charges of $ 20 million.

The CEO of GTA Sports and Entertainment, Mr. Graeme Roustan, was optimistic that even without a NHL franchise, the arena would still be viable and could be supported by concerts and other major events. (This claim has been disputed by several experts in the field. See the “News” section of this web site for more information.)

If the arena is a financial failure, the City’s taxpayers will be saddled with a largely empty facility that will require millions of dollars to maintain each year.

If the real estate market slows down, if our partner is not making any money and walks away from the Arena, or if the City is not able to make its huge monthly payment, who will pay?? YOU and I, the taxpayers of Markham!


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* This explanation of TIF (Tax Increment Financing) is taken from the City of Markham website:

TIF refers to the allocation of incremental taxes to help fund the cost of specific development activities. When a property is rehabilitated or improved, the value of the property will increase with a corresponding increase in property taxes above a pre-development baseline and some or all of this tax increment could be used to support specific development activities.

The Markham-only portion of the non-residential property tax uplift in Markham Centre will be applied to service the debt. It is believed that the Centre will accelerate non-residential development in Markham Centre.