10/11/2017 9:00:45 AM

Pembroke city council is looking at its options after the Ministry of Finance decided to make changes to vacancy tax rebates on properties. Currently, the legislation has guidelines for commercial and industrial properties to qualify for a rebate of 30 per cent and 35 per cent respectively, provided the building is vacant for a minimum of 90 consecutive days.   The province is looking at changes to the program that change the eligibility criteria, reducing rebate percentage as well as phasing out the program. The city currently spends roughly $125,000 a year to cover the vacany rebates for about 40 properties. Seventy per cent of the properties have also received the tax rebate for more than three years. Council was curious about applying a declining rebate for four years until it comes to zero. However, a draft policy will be developed by staff and a public consulation period would have to be included, possibily happening in March of next year.

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