The City of Brampton Will Pay You Back for Empty Buildings

Published October 24, 2018 at 3:07 am

Brampton is a fast growing city, surprisingly still with land to develop.

Brampton is a fast growing city, surprisingly still with land to develop.

For this city, there is this debate that Brampton does not have enough jobs because for the longest time developable land was used for residential construction. Brampton councillors voted to freeze development on employment lands until the city could develop a new master plan.

But businesses, whether they are in transition or getting ready to set up, need some assurances that there could be some compensation when it come to leaving some of their properties empty while not in use.

It seems, however, the city does have such a program in place, if you haven’t already heard about it.

A vacancy rebate for property taxes is available from the City of Brampton, whereby property owners are eligible for a rebate, on a portion of property taxes, for commercial and industrial buildings if they satisfy the following conditions:

Buildings entirely vacant

  • A whole commercial or industrial building if the entire building was unused for at least 90 consecutive days.

Buildings partially vacant

  • A portion of an industrial building, a suite or unit within a commercial building if, for at least 90 consecutive days, it was not used and was clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building.

Commercial buildings entirely or partially vacant must be either / or:

  • Capable of being leased for immediate occupation.

  • Capable of being leased but not for immediate occupation because it was in need of or undergoing repairs or renovations or was under construction, or

  • Unfit for occupation

However, there is also criteria the city has for properties that are not eligible for the rebate:

  • Property is used for commercial or industrial activity on a seasonal basis.

  • Property includes non-permanent structures.

  • Property was a storage unit or it was used for storage purposes.

  • Property was a hotel, a fuel storage tank, a gravel pit.

  • A business was closed due to strike or lockout.

  • Property was accessible to a tenant before the commencement of a lease (if the access was for the purpose of building out or constructing leasehold improvements).

  • During the period of vacancy, it was included in a sub-class for vacant land, or…

  • The city paid or credited a rebate in respect of the building, structure or portion, as the case may be, for any three or more consecutive taxation years before the taxation year in respect of which the application is made.

While this city program sounds nice, it’s not going to be here forever.

The rebates are going from 30 per cent in the 2017 tax year, to 20 per cent in the 2018 tax year, to 10 per cent in 2019 until finally phased out and discontinued in 2020.

Is there an epidemic of vacant commercial properties in Brampton? Perhaps not; we once opined that Brampton is a prime candidate to be the ‘warehousing capital of Canada’, and that level of economic activity is not looking to be on the decline any time soon.

So if you have a business and some empty properties lying around, better take advantage of this rebate before it’s too late.

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