Vacant Homes Tax – Public Consultation

The Province of Ontario recently introduced legislation that would empower the City to introduce a tax on vacant residential units, encourage property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them out, and address concerns about residential units potentially being left vacant.

The City is undertaking a public consultation to look at whether Toronto should implement a tax on vacant homes.

The City has tax policies to enhance Toronto’s business climate over the long term. This includes Council’s policy to reduce the tax ratios for the multi-residential class and the business class to 2.5-times the residential tax rate by 2020 with accelerated reduction rates for small businesses, with a target of 2.5-times the residential rate by 2015.

For 2017 tax year, the Province legislated a freeze on the multi–residential property taxes, and City Council adopted a policy of 1/2 of residential tax increase for commercial and 1/3 for industrial properties. These policies resulted in a revised target date to achieve the 2.5 tax ratio for business properties from 2020 to 2023.

Other City efforts to enhance competitiveness have resulted in a successful agreement with the provincial government to reduce business education tax (BET) rates for the City of Toronto businesses closer to the average of the surrounding GTA municipalities, creating a new, fair water rate structure for industrial and manufacturing companies and continuing the relief of development charges for the city’s commercial industry.

Staff Reports