Vacant Unit Tax Rebate Program Reform

August 22, 2017

Huron County is considering a change to the existing commercial and industrial vacant unit tax rebate program. In the proposal, the vacant unit tax rebate would be phased out over a three year period, beginning in 2018 to allow affected property owners to manage the rebate reduction into future budgets.

In December 2016, the Province of Ontario has provided municipalities with the ability to tailor the vacant rebate and reduction programs to reflect community needs and circumstances for 2017 and future years. The change in provincial policy stems from consultations with municipal and business stakeholders.

The intent of this policy change is to incent use of vacant properties that could be either sold and put into active use, or rented by lowering fees and/or mixed with multi-use rentals including residential which would result in more vibrant and sustainable communities.

There are no changes to the 30% sub-class discount for vacant/excess lands in the commercial and industrial tax classes respectively due to the economic development competitive advantage for our region and the fact that these vacant/excess lands imposed less demands on municipal service levels.

Huron County is receiving comments on the proposed changes until September 30, 2017.

All of the comments received by the deadline will form part of a staff report to Huron County Council on October 18, 2017. At that meeting, Council will give final consideration to a locally designated vacant unit rebate policy for a submission to the Ontario Minister of Finance.

Please send your submissions to and reference Vacant Unit Tax Rebate in the title, or in writing to:

Treasurer, County of Huron
1 Courthouse Square
Goderich, ON  N7A 1M2

For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)