On Tuesday, June 1st, the City’s Finance and Economic Development Committee received a preliminary framework for a vacant unit tax program, which would help increase Ottawa’s housing supply by encouraging homeowners to occupy or rent their properties.
If adopted, owners of residential properties that are vacant more that 184 days per year would pay a one-per-cent tax as part of their final property tax bill each year. The tax would not apply to an owner’s principal residence. The Committee directed staff to develop a tax regime that would be implemented in 2022, with billing to start in 2023.
While a one-per-cent tax rate is estimated to bring in about $6.6 in revenue in its first year, the tax is not intended to be a major revenue generator for the City. In addition to returning more vacant properties to the housing market, it would also help reduce the amount of vacant homes with property standards issues, such as disrepair and dereliction.
Recommendations from this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, June 9.