Perth County is joining other counties and municipalities in moving to phase out the Vacant Rebate Program for commercial and industrial vacancies.
Huron County has already moved to get rid of the rebate, and Perth County Manager of Finance Corey Bridges says that an open house Wednesday evening in Listowel will give details on the phasing out of the rebate program.
"What is being recommended by the local treasurers and myself, is to essentially eliminate that program, because it has moved from the business owner to the property owner, in terms of how the taxes are being assessed, and the property owner might not own the business," says Bridges.
Under the current system, a 30% tax rebate is available for commercial and industrial vacancies that are applied for through the municipality. Bridges notes that maybe some businesses weren't aware, and will be informed on how the program will be phased out.
"Maybe some businesses weren't aware of this, because you actually had to apply for a vacancy rebate with the municipality itself," says Bridges. "For example, a North Perth business would go to the municipality and say 'my business is vacant, or the property is vacant, I'm applying for the rebate.'"
Bridges says the program has become redundant based on how assessments are conducted.
The open house is at the North Perth Municipal Office Council Chambers from 5:30pm-7:30pm Wednesday night. A survey on the rebate program is also available online at www.perthcounty.ca/en/doing-business/vacancy-rebate-program.aspx until June 4.