Huron County, Ontario – The County of Huron is seeking public feedback related to the property tax treatment of unimproved commercial and industrial land. Those wishing to provide input on these matters may complete an online survey and submission form prior to October 26, 2020.
Unimproved commercial and industrial property, or portions of property that qualify to be included in one of the following property sub-classes are currently subject to a reduced tax rate for municipal purposes:
- The Vacant Land sub-classes capture properties included in one of the commercial or industrial classes, but which have no assessable improvements (buildings) on them whatsoever.
- The Excess Land sub-classes apply to portions of improved property that is not improved and is in excess of the amount of land required to support the existing buildings under municipal planning rules.
Since 2017, the Province has provided municipalities with broad flexibility to tailor the treatment of these vacant and excess lands in response to local circumstances. The County intends to seek permission to eliminate the tax rate discount percentage for vacant and excess land. This change would mirror the treatment to be applied for the Provincial education portion of the tax bill for which no discount is provided as of 2020.
Unimproved land would continue to be subject to comparable lands with buildings on them, because the property values (Current Value Assessment) would be lower. That is, a 1 acre property with a building will be valued higher, and pay higher taxes than a neighbouring vacant lot of the same size.
“As the County considers eliminating sub-class discounts for vacant or excess land, it is important that we’re able to engage with our citizens and understand the impact of this decision,’ said Michael Blumhagen, Treasurer and Director of Corporate Services. “I am eager to hear from members of the public and their perspective on this matter.”
Input regarding the potential implications of these changes is being sought from landlords, business owners and members of the general public and will inform the final decision making process. Interested parties are encouraged to submit a formal survey and comment form, which is available online at https://connectedcountyofhuron.ca/property-tax-treatment-of-vacant-commercial-and-industrial-land.
For more information on this initiative, contact the County’s Treasurer and Director of Corporate Services, Michael Blumhagen, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The County of Huron asks the community to continue respecting all public health guidelines, including performing hand hygiene, practicing physical distancing, wearing masks and staying home if ill. Stay informed on the COVID-19 situation in Huron County by visiting the Huron-Perth Public Health website.