Business owners has complained over the past few weeks being charged thousands in speculation taxes for the empty air spaces above their leased spaces. This is due to commercial property owners decided to initiate a rezoning making above ground level unit residential. However, the additional tax is being transferred to the Businesses that is leasing the space because of the contract they signed with the landlord.
“The new exemption applies exclusively to commercial tenants in a triple-net lease agreement that have rezoned airspace above their rented unit”. Finance Minister Selina Robinson says, “fewer than 65 properties that this affects.” The business owners will need to apply for the exemption, it is not an automated process. Properties in the process of redevelopment also qualifies for this exemption because the vacant land exemption expired in 2019.
"We don't think it's fair that tenants should have to bear the cost of the speculation and vacancy tax when their commercial landlord made the choice to indicate redevelopment of their properties … as residential and then not continue on that path," Robinson said