Tax and go

Toronto landlords protest Vacant Home Property Tax enforcement

Toronto landlords and homeowners are expressing shock and frustration over the continued enforcement of the Vacant Home Tax (VHT).

The City of Toronto has received more than 55,000 complaints this week about its vacant home tax notices of assessment from homeowners, mostly seniors, who claim their properties were occupied last year.

Despite the city’s efforts to communicate the requirements of the Vacant Home Tax (VHT), many homeowners have been caught off guard by the tax.

This tax, which was implemented in 2022, is designed to increase the supply of housing by discouraging owners from leaving their residential properties unoccupied. The tax applies to residences that have been vacant for more than six months during the taxation year and is set at one per cent of the property’s value assessment.

The city has issued Notices of Assessment for the VHT for the 2023 taxation year to owners who declared their property vacant and to owners whose property has been deemed vacant because they did not submit a declaration.

Property owners who disagree with the 2023 Vacant Home Tax assessment can file a complaint through the online portal, with the deadline to file a Notice of Complaint for the 2023 taxation year set for December 31, 2024.

Toronto City’s Response to VHT Complaints

The implementation of the Vacant Home Tax has resulted in some unexpected consequences for homeowners. Some residents have reported receiving tax bills for properties they currently occupy, leading to confusion and distress.

In some cases, homeowners have been hit with unexpected tax bills after failing to make their VHT declaration for 2023, resulting in the city deeming their properties unoccupied.

In response to the high volume of complaints, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow has promised to address the issues with the Vacant Home Tax. “I promise you that I will clean this up so next round people will not have to line up or have to get a bill that is shocking,” Mayor Chow stated.

The city is also continuing to accept Vacant Home Tax declarations of property occupancy status from Toronto homeowners, even past the official declaration deadline.

The Vacant Home Tax is a measure designed to address the housing crisis in Toronto by encouraging the use of vacant properties. However, the rollout of this tax has been met with significant resistance and confusion from homeowners.

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City of Toronto

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