There have been second thoughts, and a change of heart by some Quinte West councillors when it comes to eliminating the vacancy tax rebate for commercial and industrial property owners.
Last night (Wednesday), the city’s Corporate Finance Committee voted to continue to offer 30% to 35% property tax rebates on vacant commercial or industrial space.
Some on the committee were prepared to vote in favour of eliminating the rebate, thinking it would spur property owners to work harder to attract tenants.
However, realtor and commercial property owner Jamie Troke said landlords would never want to own facilities that weren’t producing an income, and therefore badly needed tenants.
He suggested the rebates were fair, because vacant space was worth less, and should be taxed less.
He also suggested that the rebates helped owners pay for renovations and upgrades and the marketing of their vacant space.
Landlord Cynthia Weaver also spoke out in favour of the keeping the rebates.
Several Quinte West commercial/industrial property owners wrote letters to council opposing any move to eliminate the vacancy rebates, while a majority of people responding to a Quinte West Chamber of Commerce survey voted to eliminate them.
Mayor of Quinte West, Jim Harrison said “I want businesses to do well, and I want buildings to be in good
The rebates aren’t a big financial issue. If they were eliminated, the City of Quinte West would only save around $55,000 a year.
Quinte West council will make a final decision on the issue at its next meeting.