Woodstock City Council has decided to get rid of the Vacant Unit Rebate program for the 2024 tax year.
WOODSTOCK - A rebate program has been eliminated in the City of Woodstock.
Council made the decision at their latest meeting, the Vacant Unit Rebate, which allowed qualifying property owners to apply for tax relief for vacant or partially vacant properties. Mayor Jerry Acchione highlights who is affected by the elimination.
"So, that is for landlords that are not so interested in making sure they are filled. So, we're going to make sure they pay the same amount of taxes whether it is empty or not."
He adds, there will be many benefits for the city.
"Not only do we get a little bit more taxes, but it will also encourage them to fill it faster."
On average over the last four years, the City received 16 applications per year resulting in approximately $32,200 in tax relief annually.
The money not used to fund this program will be redirected to the tax reserve and the staff time required to administer the program will be allocated to other projects.
The program was intended to offer temporary support for businesses, but repeated applications were frequently received by the City. Administering the program also included difficulties establishing proof of vacancy and overlap of assistance programs for some qualifying properties resulting in duplicated tax relief.
Property owners can still apply for the rebate for the 2023 tax year, with the changes taking effect for the 2024 tax year.