City officials in Windsor want the provincial government to crack down on investors who buy up commercial properties and leave them dormant. The city’s mayor Drew Dilkens told the Windsor Star: “I’d like to be able to dissuade people from purchasing property and then sitting on it for speculation.” Owners of rental property that is not occupied are given a 35 per cent rebate on property taxes and the mayor wants that changed. He is calling for amendments to the Municipal Act to allow the city council more flexibility to tackle the issue of empty units.
The idea has been criticized by realtor Jim Williams of Re Max Capital who says that owners do want tenants and effectively raising taxes won’t change that. The area’s Business Development District chair Larry Horowitz said that dissuading speculators by cutting rebates could be a good thing if the additional taxes were used to lower the rates for others.
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