Here’s a quick update on what’s going on with the Ottawa International Airport and Germain Hotels recent application for a tax break to support a planned terminal hotel: the application was rejected by the city council.
Germain was eligible in terms of the technical criteria required to meet a municipal “community improvement plan” (CIP) for airport adjacent lands. They were technically qualified for a $13.1-million discount, over 25 years, on the estimated $17.4-million property tax increase that would follow their project. However, city council must approve such applications and in this case the application was met with opposition from Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and was ultimately rejected by 17 council members. An amended ask for $3.7 million in tax relief over 10 years for the project was also denied.
Germain has not confirmed whether they will proceed with the project without the grant. This was the first application under the airport improvement plan. Without a functioning CIP for the lands surrounding the terminal, the airport authority has no financial tools to acquire new routes and destinations. The city’s staff report is expected in June, but applications under existing CIPs are still being accepted. The rejection could have implications for future developments, so it’s important to stay updated on changes in the city’s CIP program.