Ottawa – The City’s Finance and Economic Development Committee today approved a residential vacant unit tax to be charged on non-principal residences left vacant for more that 184 days in a year. Requiring owners to pay one per cent of the assessed value of such units is meant to encourage them to occupy, sell or rent their properties to help increase housing supply in Ottawa.
About 330,000 residential property owners across Ottawa would need to make an annual declaration of vacancy between January 1 and mid-March or be charged a $250 late declaration fee. The tax would be added to the final property tax bill each year, and net revenues from the tax would fund affordable housing. It is anticipated to generate about $6.6 million per year.
If approved by Council, the City would need to seek provincial approval to designate Ottawa to levy the tax. The tax would be implemented in 2022, with the first annual declaration and billing starting in 2023.
Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, March 9.
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