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Vacancy Rebate Public Information Centre

Vacancy Unit Rebate Program Public Information Centre

On March 21, Northumberland County will host a Public Information Centre to seek feedback about a program that delivers tax rebates to owners of vacant commercial and industrial properties. The Open House will take place from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Northumberland County building at 555 Courthouse Road, Cobourg.


The County and member municipalities are reviewing the implications of eliminating the Property Tax Rebate Program for Vacant Units as part of efforts to better encourage use of such properties for the benefit of
the community.

Members of the public are invited to:

  • Attend a 20-minute presentation by the County Treasurer at 5:30 p.m. about the background on this program and the reasons for change.
  • Connect directly with experts and Treasurers from various local municipalities and the County.
  • Complete a survey to share feedback about the impacts of this program.

Share your feedback – complete a survey


Currently, building owners can apply for an annual property tax rebate of 35 per cent for vacant industrial space and 30 per cent for vacant commercial space. This rebate program was originally established by the Province to compensate property owners for tax increases resulting from property tax reform in 1998. Since then, property assessment methods adopted by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) - whose assessments form the basis for property taxation—have, to a large extent, essentially resolved this issue. This is also not a benefit which is afforded to other property classes such as residential or multi-residential properties, which may experience a similar form of vacancy from time-to-time.

Recouping the cost of program rebates results in increased property taxation to Northumberland’s other tax classes—primarily residential—with the combined upper-and lower-tier municipal impact totaling $269,208 in 2016. The cost and number of rebates by municipality is summarized below:

2016 Vacancy Rebates

 Considering this, along with the concern that this program may in fact discourage property development, hindering community/economic growth and development goals, local municipalities are evaluating opting out of – or phasing out – this program. Should you require a disability-related accommodation in order to participate in
this meeting or feedback process, please contact 800-354-7050 x 2327. 

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