City of Sault Ste. Marie introduces Vacant Home Tax

Thursday, May 2, 2024

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is implementing a Vacant Home Tax (VHT) as a measure to address increased housing availability and affordability. Vacant properties are contributing to the scarcity of available housing options for residents. By introducing this measure, the City seeks to encourage efficient use of housing and alleviate the strain on the local housing market.   
 
“The decision to implement the VHT reflects the City’s commitment to address the housing needs of our community,” says Peter Tonazzo, Director of Planning. “Encouraging the occupancy of vacant properties creates a more inclusive and sustainable housing market to meet the needs of residents.”
 
Once the program begins, residents can notify the City of any suspected vacant properties, prompting the completion of a declaration form for the respective property. The aim is not to levy taxes on properties that serve as primary residences or may temporarily become unoccupied due to travel or unforeseen circumstances. Rather, the focus is on taxing properties that persistently remain vacant and neglected, in which case, if a property remains unoccupied for more than six months, owners will be subject to an annual tax, with the specific rate yet to be determined.
 
The new tax will take effect on January 1, 2025, based on the 2024 vacancies. A public open house will be held at a later date to solicit community input on the VHT, determine the tax rate that should be applied, and identify potential exemptions.  
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Phone
705-759-2500

Email
info@cityssm.on.ca

Fax
705-759-2310

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Location
99 Foster Drive
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6A 5X6