Tax vacant Cornwall properties to increase rentals, councillor proposes

Cornwall Coun. Syd Gardiner. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Update: Cornwall vacancy tax would ‘make money’ for affordable housing

CORNWALL – A city councillor wants to impose a special property tax to “motivate” owners to rent out their buildings.

Coun. Syd Gardiner will ask city administration to look into whether Cornwall can put a Vacant Properties Tax in place, similar to what Vancouver has and Toronto and Ottawa are looking at putting in place.

Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax charges owners 1.25 per cent on a property’s assessed value. For example, a building worth $200,000 would face a $2,500 bill if it wasn’t rented out at least six months during the year. The money collected is put towards building more affordable housing.

Gardiner’s proposal to “relieve pressure on Cornwall’s affordable housing market” is supported by Coun. Dean Hollingsworth.

Council meets virtually tonight (Monday) at 7 p.m.

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