Vacant Unit Rebate and Vacant / Excess Land Subclasses Property Tax Discounts

Since 1998, the Vacant Unit Rebate and Vacant / Excess Land Subclasses have provided tax rebates and reductions to property owners who have vacancies in commercial and industrial buildings or land.

Vacant Unit Rebates

  • Annual application required for rebate
  • 30 percent property tax rebate to both commercial and industrial properties with vacancies
  • Both the Region and local municipalities budget for the cost of these vacancy rebates
  • The Region's 2018 budget for this program is approximately $1 million or 0.28 per cent of the tax levy. The impact on the local area municipal levies would be of a similar dollar magnitude.
  • Elimination of this program could result in reduced property taxes to the residents and business owners in Niagara

Subclass Rate Reduction

  • Commercial and industrial property owners do not have to apply for the reduction, eligibility is determined by MPAC and reflected annually on the tax roll
  • 30 percent property tax reduction for properties that are vacant or have excess land
  • Total discounts amount to approximately $1.6 million (Regional portion only). The impact on the local area municipal levies would be of a similar dollar magnitude.
  • Any changes to this program would not provide direct budget relief to the tax levy, but would result in redistribution of taxes from all other classes, including residential, onto the previously discounted commercial and industrial classes

Impact on Tax Payers

By eliminating the Vacant Unit Rebate program, funds could be allocated to other Regional programs and services, or could result in a reduction in Regional property taxes. For example, a home assessed at $258,000 would receive a reduction of approximately $11.

Additional information regarding the proposed changes can be found in Council report CSD 41-2018 (page 438).

Impact on Business Owners

Any commercial and industrial properties (not classified as excess or vacant) could benefit from eliminating these discounts and rebates.

For those properties classified as excess or vacant, these changes could mean that you will no longer be able to receive property tax relief for those properties.

Public Engagement Forum

View the program review presented at our forum on August 15, 2018.

Contact Information

Margaret Murphy
Associate Director, Budget Planning and Strategy
Financial Management and Planning
Email Margaret Murphy

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