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82 per cent of Ottawa Vacant Unit Tax declarations filled out three weeks before deadline

A tablet showing the vacant unit tax declaration page on the city of Ottawa's website. (Leah Larocque/CTV News Ottawa) A tablet showing the vacant unit tax declaration page on the city of Ottawa's website. (Leah Larocque/CTV News Ottawa)
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More than 80 per cent of Ottawa homeowners have completed the Vacant Unit Tax declaration, with the deadline to complete the form for the city of Ottawa fast approaching.

Property owners are required to complete the Vacant Unit Tax online by March 21, or face a $250 late fee.

The Vacant Unit Tax was implemented in 2022 to encourage homeowners to occupy or rent their properties to address the affordable housing crisis in the city.  Properties vacant for more than 184 days during the previous calendar year are taxed at a rate of one per cent of the property's assessed value, with that revenue used to fund affordable housing.

The city of Ottawa said there were 3,743 vacant homes in Ottawa last year.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the Deputy City Treasurer Revenue Joseph Muhuni said the city has received 270,000 Vacant Unit Tax declarations ahead of the March 21 deadline, which is 82 per cent of the total number of declarations required in Ottawa.

You can fill out the Vacant Unit Tax online at www.ottawa.ca/vut. The city says all you need is your roll number and access code, which can be found on the email or letter sent to your home, and your property tax bill.

The city opened the declaration portal in December, two weeks before the formal declaration period began, and made some changes to make it more user-friendly. The changes include the order of some of the questions, eliminating drop-down menus, making the questions easier to understand and improved integration with MyServiceOttawa.

The city says all residential property owners must declare whether the home is occupied or vacant, even if it is your principal address.

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