ontario news watch

Toronto to hike vacant home tax to 3 per cent, pledging millions to housing program

Toronto city councillors have voted to hike the city’s vacant home tax.

Council voted 21-2 in favour of the move to increase the tax from one per cent to three per cent of a vacant home’s assessed value starting in the 2024 tax year.  

Councillors also supported a motion tabled by Mayor Olivia Chow to direct at least $10 million in any additional revenue generated by the hike to a program offering non-profit housing organizations grants to purchase private market affordable rental housing. 

A staff report says a three per cent vacant-home tax rate could bring in an estimated $105 million in 2025, about double the expected 2024 revenue at one per cent, then declining in subsequent years as homes are filled.

The report says 2,161 homes were reported vacant by owners and another 17,437 homes had been deemed vacant by the city as of August after notices went unchallenged. 

The numbers are expected to come down as those homeowners file complaints or exemptions ahead of an April deadline, but city staff still estimate about $55 million in projected 2024 revenue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2023. 

The Canadian Press