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Nearly all eligible residents filled out Vacant Unit Tax declarations ahead of deadline

The City of Ottawa confirms that the vast majority of residents have filled out their Vacant Unit Tax declarations for the previous tax year.

In an email to CTV News Ottawa, deputy treasurer Joseph Muhuni says close to 100 per cent of residents who must fill out the form have already done so.

“As of [Thursday] morning, the City of Ottawa has received 321,800 Vacant Unit Tax (VUT) declarations, which is 98.2 per cent of the total declarations required,” Muhuni said.

Declarations submitted after 11:59 p.m. Thursday are subject to a $250 late fee. Late declarations are accepted until April 30.

All residential property owners must declare, even if it is to prove that the only property owned is a principal address.

The City established Vacant Unit Tax in 2022 to encourage homeowners to occupy or rent their properties to address the affordable housing crisis. If a home is declared or deemed vacant for more than 184 days during the previous calendar year, the property owner must pay an additional tax equal to one per cent of the property’s assessed value on their final property tax bill. The revenue is used to fund affordable housing.

Last year, the City waived late fees for people who missed the March deadline because it was the first year people were required to declare vacancy status. About 4 per cent of homeowners missed the March deadline last year.

More than 3,200 homes were declared vacant in 2022 and another 2,800 were deemed vacant because no declaration was received.

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.

–With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Josh Pringle.

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