CORNWALL – The City of Cornwall won’t be going ahead with a special property tax to “motivate” owners to rent out their buildings and generate money for social housing.
City council agreed with administration Monday night to abandon the Vacant Properties Tax proposal from Coun. Syd Gardiner, which would have put the money from the tax into affordable housing.
Based on a city analysis there are 20 known residential properties identified as abandoned – half of those owe back taxes (in arrears). The city has 15,950 residential properties. At a 1.25 per cent tax, it would generate $24,656 a year.
Gardiner says he brought the idea forward because he is troubled with the boarded up lockhouse at 1612 Second Street West and a building across from Canadian Tire on Ninth Street East.
“To me, a little bit of work in there, could put a family or two into that building (lockhouse),” Gardiner said.
The lockhouse is owned by Transport Canada and is on land that’s part of the federal government’s divestiture plan, which has been happening for years with no apparent movement.