Toronto moves closer to implementing vacant housing tax – .

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Toronto moves closer to implementing vacant housing tax – .


People with vacant homes in Toronto could be hit with a new tax designed to help cool the housing market.

On Tuesday, the city council executive committee approved a plan to design and implement Toronto’s vacant housing taxes starting in 2022.

“The objective of the tax is to change the behavior of owners of vacant homes, by encouraging them to sell or rent the homes, thereby increasing the supply of homes,” the city said in a statement.

If approved by city council, a bylaw supporting the tax would come into effect on January 1, 2022, and that date would also become the start of the first tax reference year.

Depending on the city, the recommended initial tax rate is 1% of the property’s present value assessment (CVA) for the year in which the home is vacant.

The city said it doesn’t know how many homes in Toronto are currently vacant, but using Vancouver’s tax parameters, the new law could bring in $ 55 million to $ 66 million a year.

The tax base year is the year that determines whether tax is payable, depending on the city. The tax would become payable for the first time at the beginning of 2023, depending on the occupancy status in the previous reference year.

The city said a house is considered vacant if it has been unoccupied for more than six months in the previous calendar year.

Some exemptions include the death of the owner, the owner receiving medical attention, or the house is being renovated.

As part of the tax design, property owners will be required to report the status of their residence each year.

Some properties may be selected for audit based on random or specific criteria, the city says.

If approved, a final report and bylaw will be prepared for board consideration by the end of 2021.

“A vacant housing tax will lead to a much needed increase in the supply of housing in Toronto, so I’m happy to see it approved today,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement. “We just cannot afford to have housing for thousands of empty houses. ”

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