County Municipalities Look To Cancel Vacancy Tax Rebate

(ESSEX, ON) – The seven Essex County municipalities are looking at eliminating the vacancy rebate program for commercial and industrial properties beginning in 2018. The 30 per cent rebate of commercial property taxes and 35 per cent of industrial property taxes was established in 2001 and accounted for $257,099 in 2016. Tecumseh’s share along was $105,439.

Changes to the Municipal Act now allows municipalities the option to review the incentivization of allowing properties to remain vacant.

The municipalities are hoping by eliminating the tax rebate program fewer properties will remain vacant and that the increase in taxes collected could be spent on enhancing services.

The applications for the tax rebate have been declining in recent years with Lakeshore and Amherstburg providing $0 in rebates in 2016, however the program consumes significant administrative resources.

Residents and stakeholders are being asked to weigh in on the discussion. They can complete an online survey until the end of this month, attend an open house at the Essex County Civic Centre on September 27 between 4pm and 7pm, and also make their views known by email.

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