for rentThe City of Owen Sound is seeking feedback related to the reform of the rebate program that currently exists for vacant commercial and industrial properties.

The Vacant Unit Rebate program allows owners of commercial and industrial buildings to apply for a partial rebate of property taxes if all or part of the property was vacant for at least 90 consecutive days and various other criteria are met.

Owen Sound, like many municipalities across the province, has found the program to be increasingly difficult to manage, budget for and administer. The application and enforcement of eligibility criteria has become particularly difficult due to loosely defined rules and limited compliance provisions.

As of 2017, the Province has provided municipalities with broad flexibility to tailor the treatment of these vacant land and unit programs in response to local circumstances. After careful review City staff have recommended that the vacant unit rebate program be eliminated.

Input regarding the potential implications of this change 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 or picked up in person at Owen Sound City Hall.

The deadline for the submission of input is Friday, February 15, 2019.

source: media release, City of Owen Sound

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