Unoccupied house tax is supported by the Aurora Council

The York region’s move to impose property taxes on real estate to support affordable housing initiatives was supported by the Aurora Council.

The regional council recently conducted a feasibility study of the so-called “vacant house tax” aimed at “improving the availability of rental units” in the York region and at the same time funding affordable housing projects. Was turned into a green light.

Such taxes on vacant properties could be set at 1-2%, generating $ 15-90 million annually, depending on the region, and potentially reinvesting in affordable housing initiatives. I have.

“The need for more affordable housing options in the York region is well established,” said a previous report from the regional council. “A complete community includes rental and owned housing options that meet the needs of residents of all ages, stages and abilities. A variety of affordable housing options support economic development, individuals and It must contribute significantly to the health and well-being of the community and support the growth forecast of the official regional plan, as reported to the council in January 2021.

“The annual Affordable Home Monitoring Exercise measures the affordability of new homes against affordable thresholds calculated based on state definitions. The 2020 analysis is 2021. Submitted to the Council in June, only 8% of new homes are affordable, well below the affordable housing targets of the official regional plan of 25% across the region and 35% in centers and corridors. ”

The region concludes that housing supplies are “not keeping up with the needs of the population”, making it more difficult for residents to find affordable housing.

Municipalities like the York region were given a go-ahead to investigate the vacant home tax model in 2017, one of the 16 measures that were part of Ontario’s fair housing program. In order for municipalities to adopt these measures, public consultation needs to be conducted and business cases need to be drafted.

Toronto and Ottawa will impose a tax next year, and others are in the process of considering whether it is feasible.

Some of the factors considered include what constitutes a “vacant house”, situations where tax exemption is required, and how real estate owners determine and define how to challenge the findings.

“Currently, there is no readily available data to determine the availability of the York region in the secondary market,” the region said. “Staff used water consumption levels for 2018 and 2020 as one way to estimate potential vacancy rates. 2016, which provides estimates of property units occupied by regular residents. Using Statistics Canada’s report, an analysis was conducted to separate vacant units from newly constructed vacant units in order to determine estimated vacancy rates in the York area. 3 % Vacancy rate has been derived … It is recognized that further work by consultants will be required to improve the estimated vacancy rate in the secondary market.

“Taxes are a policy tool aimed at changing the behavior of homeowners. If successful, they are expected to undermine speculative activity that helps release more home units to the secondary market. Unoccupied home taxes can reduce your source of income as homeowners occupy or rent homes to avoid taxes. ”

Whether such a model will succeed in the York region has not yet been determined, but members of the Aurora Council said it was an idea worth considering.

“I’m really happy to know that a vacant house tax survey was conducted and that the money we earned will be used for affordable housing initiatives,” said Wendy Gartner, a councilor. “I really hope this study recommends that we have it.”

Support was also provided by Mayor Tom Murakas, the only voice of Aurora at the regional table.

” [report] Total revenues range from $ 15 million to $ 90 million, which I agree with a large number. The fact that it was important to prescribe the return of money in order to consider how to provide affordable housing was a big part. [in moving forward], “He said,” After all, you shouldn’t even make money because there shouldn’t be any vacant properties, because in the end, that money has been reduced many times and there are no vacant properties. The idea is to reach a point where you are not actually making money.

“In the meantime, spend your money on affordable homes.”

Unoccupied house tax is supported by the Aurora Council

Source link Unoccupied house tax is supported by the Aurora Council

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