There are growing calls at Hamilton city hall for the province to change legislation that gives property tax rebates to owners of buildings that are partially or completely vacant.
Councillors believe it encourages some landlords to keep their buildings vacant.
The City gave out $7 million in property tax rebates to such owners in 2014 and ’15.
Councillor Sam Merulla points to numerous properties along Barton and Kenilworth where landlords have seen their property values increase by as much as 400 percent in recent years — but they still sit empty.
He believes the landlords are taking advantage of the property tax breaks while they watch their property values grow.
He says the tax break provides incentives not to have have tenants and that flies in the face of what the city is trying to do to in redeveloping and renewing neighbourhoods.