Vacant Unit Tax Clarification

This post, from April 13, has clarifications on the Vacant Unit Tax.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

Recently, Ward 8 residents – as well as those from across the city – will have received a mailer from the City of Hamilton in regards to the Vacant Unit Tax, which has caused some confusion.

For more details, please continue reading below…

The Vacant Unit Tax is an annual tax on residential units that have been vacant for more than 183 days in the previous calendar year, meaning that the Tax is geared towards homeowners who intentionally leave a property vacant. This will not affect the majority of residents.

Residential property owners will, however, have to submit a mandatory occupancy declaration starting in January 2024 to determine whether or not that property will be subject to the tax. If a declaration is not submitted, the property will be considered vacant and the Vacant Unit Tax will be charged.

At this point, an occupancy declaration must be submitted annually.

The City will be charging an additional one per cent tax on any home vacant for more than 183 days in a year. Revenue generated from the tax can be re-invested into City programs. Hamilton is not the only City to have implemented a vacant unit tax. Vancouver has a similar tax, as do Toronto and Ottawa.

The City has numerous other tools and programs to help make more housing available, including investments in affordable housing units, rent supplements, support for non-profit housing providers, and investments in community shelters.

The Vacant Unit Tax’s intention is to help create more affordable housing in the city by encouraging owners of vacant units to sell or rent those properties.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.

Councillor John-Paul Danko