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In 1998 Ontario implemented a 30% rebate in property tax for vacant commercial property. This is a subsidy paid for by the municipal Taxpayers. Starting in 2018 municipalities had the option to modify or opt out of the program.

Owen Sound City Council voted to continue the program and review it after the completion of the 10th Street Bridge replacement. The only person to show up in support of keeping the Vacant Property Tax Rebate was Mr. Kruisselbrink who stated he receives about $20,000 a year from the program.

But Grey Bruce Property Rentals (Mr. Kruisselbrink’ s company) isn’t the top one feeding from the Taxpayers pockets. The top 3 for 2019 are: Northridge Property Management ($24,079), Grey Bruce Property Rentals ($22,065) and 2159417 Ontario Ltd – the professional centre on 3rd Ave. E. ($11,837). The total paid out in 2020 was an estimated $158,143. Surprisingly, Heritage Place was absent from the 2019 list. They topped 2017 and 2018 with $39,341 and $44,103 respectively.

What does this really mean to the average Taxpayer in Owen Sound? In 2020 your taxes went up on average $63. If Council had voted to end this program it would have saved the average Taxpayer $16.00 in 2020. It means in the last 5 years the city has paid out $790,716 that could have gone to parks, improvements, community safety or countless other worthy causes.

It begs the question does Owen Sound Council have the best interests of the “Average Taxpayer” in mind when making these decisions.

Peter Reid



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