January 6th, 2023

Toronto residents whose properties sit vacant for more than half the year will soon have to pay a hefty tax but it remains to be seen whether the penalty will actually help boost housing supply in a city facing an affordability crisis.

Homeowners have been given until Feb. 2 to declare whether or not their property is vacant.

If the owner deems the property vacant or fails to complete the declaration, a tax of one per cent of the home’s assessed value would then be applied to property tax bills starting in the spring.

Supporters say that the new tax could convince some owners to list underutilized properties for sale or place them on the rental market, helping to boost housing supply in the process.

But opponents say that the tax is confusing and won’t ultimately have a big impact when it comes to boosting housing stock.

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