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Puslinch council to consider vacant building rebates at open house

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE - Council here is holding an open house on June 20 to get public input on a recommendation to consider ending rebate for vacant buildings.

On April 4, Puslinch councillors reviewed a staff report regarding the vacant unit tax rebate program as well as vacant and excess land property tax subclass reductions.

Staff were directed staff to proceed with holding a public open house on June 20 at 6:30pm in the municipal complex to obtain public input on the elimination of the rebate.

Staff are to report back to council with feedback and recommendations following the consultation process.

Background

Council’s decision will be part of an overall discussion of lower tier municipalities in Wellington County are considering eliminating vacant building rebates.

In his report, Wellington County treasurer Ken DeHart wrote in 2017 the province provided municipalities with additional flexibility to tailor the vacant unit rebate to reflect community needs and circumstances, while considering the interests of local businesses.

The rebate applies to commercial and industrial buildings that were entirely vacant or where the building was partially vacant and the suite or unit (commercial) or portion of building (industrial) was unused and clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building.

The province now implements the rebates through regulation.

The county applies to the province to make changes, but the member municipalities have the ability to design and administer their own program.

Three of the county’s municipalities made changes to its vacant unit programs in 2017.

Adjustments to vacant unit eligibility criteria for Erin, Minto and Wellington North became effective on January 2017.

In order to make changes, an application accompanied by local council resolution must be filed by Wellington County to the Ministry of Finance no later than Aug. 1 to be effective for the 2018 taxation year.

Hasan’s report also noted that in discussions at the  county treasurers meeting (attendees include treasurers and tax administrators from the county and the lower tiers), there was general support for the elimination of the tax reductions for the 2019 taxation year pending consultation with the local business community.

April 13, 2018

 
 

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