Reviewing the effectiveness of heritage property tax relief programs in Ontario
thesisposted on 25.05.2021, 07:15 by Aaron R. Cameron
This paper focuses on heritage conservation as it relates to, and intersects with, the realm of municipal finance. The thesis builds a case that municipal Heritage Property Tax Relief Programs (HPTRP’s) in Ontario, as they currently exist, do not work as they were designed. HPTRP’s are aimed at incentivizing heritage designation by offering a financial benefit to property owners, yet in their current configuration, result in additional costs that reduce their effectiveness. The ideal solution would be for the Province to review and redesign the program; however, this is unlikely. A practical solution, which is proposed in this paper, is for municipalities to create a Community Improvement Program (CIP) tool that off-sets some of the unforeseen costs associated with HPTRP’s. The two programs have a history of working synergistically at the local level – and together can accomplish what HPTRP’s were intended to achieve unilaterally.