Here's a Simple Way to Save up to 35% in Realty Taxes

  • Do you own a commercial or industrial property? (I hope so, and if you don't, you need to call me! Soon!)
  • Do you have any vacancies in your building? (Unfortunately, this is a reality today for many Peterborough property owners.)
  • Did you know that you might be eligible for a rebate for a portion of the realty taxes you already paid if you had significant vacancy last year? (Yes. Really.)
There is help for property owners who have empty or partially empty buildings. If you've had a vacancy for at least 90 days at a stretch, you can apply, by the end of February in the year following the period in which you had vacancy, for a rebate of up to 35% of the taxes you paid. Below is an excerpt from the FAQ on the City's website on this process. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line and I'll point you in the right direction, or visit the City's website for details and contact information.
City of Peterborough 2009 Commercial, Industrial and Multi-Residential Tax Bills Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. My Commercial/Industrial property has been assessed as fully occupied this year, but it is vacant (or partially vacant). Why is this, and is there some way that it can be taxed as vacant?

A. All buildings in these classes are assessed and taxed as fully occupied, regardless of whether there are vacant units in a building at the time the assessment roll is prepared. Property owners must apply to their municipality, in writing, each year for vacant space rebates by the last day of February of the year following the vacancy. That means you have until March 1, 2010 to apply for the vacancy rebate for the 2009 tax year. The classification of vacant properties reverts back to occupied for each new tax year’s assessment roll.

The percentage tax reduction to be provided through the rebates would be 30% for commercial properties and 35% for industrial properties, prorated for the portion of the year that the property was vacant. Rebates apply to properties that have had vacancies for at least 90 consecutive days. The definition of eligible property (i.e. what constitutes vacant space for the purpose of this rebate program), and the calculation methodology (i.e. determining the portion of the property’s total tax that is attributable to the vacant area to which the rebate percentage will be applied), is legislated by the Province through Section 364 of The Municipal Act, 2001.
In the meantime, if you'd like to recalculate your taxes based on your Assessment Notice, there's a handy calculator on the City of Peterborough's site. Just be sure to use the drop-down menu option to change the assessment class for your property.

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