Vacant Business Properties

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For information on property taxes related to vacant business properties, click on the topics below.

  • Property Tax Rebates for Vacant Commercial and Industrial Buildings
  • Eligible Properties
  • Applications and Processing
  • Excess Land and Vacant Land

Property Tax Rebates
for Vacant Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Starting in 2001, all properties in the Commercial and Industrial Property Tax Classes will be billed as fully occupied. Property tax relief for vacant commercial and industrial buildings will be provided to property owners through rebates that are issued by municipalities.

Application: Rebate of Property Taxes for Vacancies in Commercial and Industrial Building

Eligible Properties

A whole commercial or industrial building will be eligible for a rebate if the entire building was unused for at least 90 consecutive days.

For purposes of this rebate, the following circumstances do not constitute "use".

  • construction, repairs or renovations of the vacant premises
  • heating, cooling, lighting or cleaning of the vacant premises
  • existence of fixtures on the vacant premises (e.g., shelving units that are bolted to the wall or floor)

Commercial Building - Partially Vacant

A suite or unit within a commercial building will be eligible for a rebate if, for at least 90 consecutive days, it was:

  • unused; and
  • clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building and either:
  • capable of being leased for immediate occupation, or
  • not capable of being leased for immediate occupation because it was undergoing repairs or renovations, or it was in need of repairs or renovations or it was unfit for occupation.

Industrial Building - Partially Vacant

A portion of an industrial building will be eligible for a rebate if, for at least 90 consecutive days, it was:

  • unused; and
  • clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building.

Ineligible Properties

The following properties are not eligible for a rebate:

  • businesses that operate on a seasonal basis
  • buildings or portions of buildings that are vacant but leased to a tenant
  • buildings that are assessed in the vacant land sub-class (e.g. new buildings that have never been occupied)

Applications and Processing

Application forms are available from the Town of Whitby, Taxation Services. You can also download the application. When these applications are completed they must be returned to the Town of Whitby, Tax Department. The deadline to submit applications for a tax year is last day of February of the year following  the taxation year to which the application relates.

Property owners may submit a maximum of two applications per property per year :

  • one application for all vacancies on the property during the entire tax year
  • or one application for all vacancies during the first six months of the year and a second application for the last six months of the year

The Town of Whitby will process a rebate application by June 30th for the previous taxation year or within 120 days of the receipt of all the required information, whichever is later. The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) will provide the Town with the assessed value that is attributable to the vacant area. Rebates, based on this assessed value, will be issued as a credit against an outstanding tax account or through a direct payment to the property owner if the tax account is paid in full.

If you require an application form, please contact the Taxation Department. You can also download the application form.

Taxpayers may appeal to the Assessment Review Board if they believe the amount of their rebate is too low.

Excess Land and Vacant Land

Excess land

Excess land will continue to be shown on the assessment roll in an excess land sub-class. Section 8 of the Assessment Act is amended to remove "vacant units" from the "vacant units and excess land" sub-classes, simply leaving sub-classes for "excess land."

Vacant

Land is not affected by the new rebate program. Vacant parcels of land will continue to be identified by assessors and included on the assessment roll in one of the vacant land sub-classes.