After a continuous push from business owners on Queen Street, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake now plans to establish a heritage tax rebate program.
The tax rebate is intended to help businesses in heritage buildings maintain the structures, Lord Mayor Betty Disero said during Monday’s council meeting.
Council voted to form a working committee to start working on the plan, rather than hire a consultant as it had previously agreed to do.
Coun. Allan Bisback pointed out the issue has already been researched by the town and is almost ready to go, and the only reason it didn’t happen earlier was the town did not want to fund it.
“It is time, it is close,” he said.
However, Disero said there are still a lot of questions that need answered, such as:
Will the rebate be available to all of NOTL or just the Heritage District?
Which buildings will be eligible?
What is the percentage of the tax rebate?
Will the rebate be on just the commercial parts of buildings or residential too?
How does the town ensure people paying the tax are the ones getting the rebate, and what goes into those agreements?
What are the penalties if owners don’t live up to the agreement?
Does the town need to put an easement on the property?
Where the money is going to come from?