Leamington's Mayor Wants Property Tax Break Cut In Half

The Mayor of Leamington would like to see a reduction in a property tax break for owners of vacant properties.

As it stands now, owners of vacant buildings can receive up to a 35% property tax discount, depending on whether the site is zoned retail, commercial or industrial. Essex County council is launching a review of the tax policy to see if any changes are needed.

Leamington Mayor John Paterson would like to see the rate cut in half so land owners have a "little bit more pain involved" in leaving their property vacant. He would like to see more done to make a property or building a little more rentable, useable or sellable.

Paterson says he would like to see the rate cut in half.

"My reasoning on that is to have those landowners have a little more pain involved in leaving their businesses and buildings vacant," says Paterson. "There are a number of retail, commercial and industrial buildings in all of our communities where one could come to the conclusion that it's sitting idle and nothing is being done to it make it rentable, useable or sellable because it's not that much of a painful opportunity to sit on an empty building."

The finance departments from all seven municipalities represented on Essex County council will be meeting to discuss the issue.