Rebate programs are available to provide tax relief to commercial/industrial property owners where a building or a portion of a building is vacant or registered charities who are tenants in a building in the commercial or industrial tax class.  

A tax deferral program is available for eligible low income seniors or low income persons with disabilities on tax increases greater than $100.00 on a residential property.

The Heritage Property Tax Relief Program  is available offering tax relief to owners of heritage properties to help maintain and restore these unique and valuable resources.

Click on the following links to learn more about the tax rebate programs currently in effect.

 Registered Charities

This rebate program is applicable to registered charities that are tenants in a commercial or industrial class property.  The landlord may be contacted by the charity to provide pertinent information that the City requires in order to process their application.

Charities that wish to apply must have a valid registration number issued by Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and submit an application no later than February 28th following the taxation year for which relief is being requested.

Qualifying charities must apply each year for the rebate.  The landlord/property owner is also required to complete a Property Owner Declaration and must accompany the application being submitted for consideration.

Charity Tax Rebate Application

Charity Rebate Bylaw

 Commercial/Industrial Vacancy Rebates (Terminated)

Buildings that were entirely or partially vacant were previously eligible for a property tax rebate (exclusions: seasonal, leased, or vacant land sub-class). 


The Province of Ontario, which has mandated the program since 1998, allowed municipalities broader flexibility to tailor the program to reflect local community needs and circumstances.


Commencing in 2017, as per By-law 2018-015, the Tax Rebate Program for Vacant Commercial and Industrial Buildings was phased out. The rebate amount for both commercial and industrial property tax classes was reduced as follows:

  • 25% for the 2017 Tax Year
  • 20% for the 2018 Tax Year
  • 10% for the 2019 Tax Year
  • eliminated for the 2020 Tax Year


 Heritage Property Tax Relief Program 
The City of Cornwall introduced in 2005 a Heritage Property Tax Relief Program to offer tax relief to owners of heritage properties to help maintain and restore these unique and valuable resources.   With assistance from representatives from Heritage Cornwall, a mutually acceptable work program has been developed to help offset the added costs of preserving designated architectural elements.

Amount of Tax Relief

The amount of the heritage tax relief shall be 40% of the taxes for municipal and education purposes levied on eligible residential and commercial properties.  The refund shall be in the form of a rebate cheque to the registered landowner(s).  In the event of a land ownership transfer, the refund shall be determined to be on a pro-rated scale based on the time of the property sale.  The new owner would have to apply to the program to initiate or continue the program funding for the subject property.

How is the Tax Relief Assessed?

The tax relief applies to the eligible heritage building or structure and the lands associated with it.  With most designated properties the entire property is included in the legal description so the tax relief will be calculated against the entire property tax bill.  For example:  if you pay $2,200.00 in property taxes, you will be eligible to receive a rebate of approximately $880.00 or 40% of the total taxes.   The application submission deadline for the rebate commencement is February 28th of the following year for which the owner is first seeking relief.  This can automatically run up to 5 years, based on the registered Agreement.   As a condition to program participation, full public disclosure of property tax details is necessary.

Eligibility Criteria

An eligible heritage property must be designated as a property of cultural heritage value or interest under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (an individual property designation) or under Part V of the Act (heritage conservation district), and which pay municipal property taxes.   To be eligible or maintain program eligibility, a property must not be in tax arrears at any time.  Should a property fall into tax arrears during the period of program participation, it shall automatically forfeit any rights to the tax relief and shall be cancelled from the program until such time as the situation is satisfactorily remedied.   The property shall not be the subject of any City by-law contraventions, work orders or other outstanding municipal requirements, as of the date the application is received by the City.

The program will provide on-going relief for up to 5 years, as long as the property owner complies with their obligations under the terms and conditions of the program.  An initial application is necessary, but the Agreement of Program Participation, once registered, will be applicable for up to 5 years and no subsequent application is necessary under the subject request.  Based on Participation adherence through City monitoring, a rebate cheque will automatically be issued on annual basis for the set duration of the Agreement.

The program participant must enter into an Agreement of Program Participation (similar to a Heritage Conservation Easement) to be registered on title and in which they agree to conduct work on the property to a recognized preservation/restoration standard in exchange for the tax rebate offered under this Program.  The items to be maintained/restored will be specified in the Agreement.   Approval of the application and ongoing participation shall be reviewed and determined by the Heritage Property Tax Relief Program Committee in conjunction with Heritage Cornwall.

The Heritage Property Tax Relief Program Committee will inspect the property and photo-document all heritage attributes. This information will serve as the benchmark for comparison when follow-up inspections are conducted in future years.  On a periodic basis, there will be compliance inspection(s) to make sure that the heritage elements of the property are being maintained/restored as per the Registered Agreement.


The Heritage Tax Relief Program is subject to any regulations that the Minister of Finance may make governing by-laws on tax refunds and reductions for heritage properties.   The Heritage Tax Relief Program is also subject at all times to the availability of funding for the program. 

The City of Cornwall is not required to provide funding for this program and the program may be eliminated by Council through repeal of the enacting by-law at any time.  Funding for the Heritage Tax Relief Program will be reviewed on an annual basis by City Council.

If the participating owner fails to maintain/restore the built heritage property in accordance with the terms, conditions and intent of the Program and Agreement, the property owner will forfeit their rights to participate and may be required to refund the City for the amount of rebate, plus interest, dating back to the date of the last inspection/approval.


If you require further information regarding this Program, please contact:

Department of Planning, Parks and Recreation Services

613-930-2787 ext. 2312 or by emailing the Planning department at

Heritage Tax Application

Heritage Property Tax Relief Program Bylaw 202-2004 

Sample Program Participation Agreement 

 Seniors and/or Low Income Persons with Disabilities Tax Deferral Program 

Low income seniors or low income persons with disabilities may apply for a deferral of taxes or a portion as a result of a tax increase on property in the residential tax class.  Tax deferral applies to current taxes only and not tax arrears or outstanding taxes.

Eligibility for Deferral Program

To be eligible for the deferral program, low income seniors or low income persons with disabilities must meet the following criteria:

Low Income Seniors

  • must be 65 years of age or older as of January 1st in the year of application (Provincial Senior Citizen Card is required)
  • applicant must be in receipt of either the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)

Low Income Persons with Disabilities

  • must be receiving benefits under one of the following:  disability pension under the Family Benefits Act (FBA) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Canada Pension Plan.

Additional Requirements

For all additional requirements please refer to By-Law 2018-132 (Low Income Seniors and/or Low Income Persons with Disabilities).


 All deferred property taxes related to this program shall become payable when:

  1. the subject property is transferred, sold, bequeathed or otherwise disposed of;
  2. the subject property is no longer the principal residence of the low income senior, low income person with disabilities or the spouse of such person, or;
  3. the person who previously qualified for the program ceases to be eligible under the criteria established by the by-law.

Bylaw 2018-132 Low Income Senior and/or Persons with Disabilities

Tax Deferral Application

Section 357/358 
A property owner may make application under Section 357 or Section 358 of the Municipal Act, 2001 for a refund of property taxes for the following reasons:
  • Ceased to be liable to be taxed at rate it is taxed
  • Became exempt
  • Fire / Demolition
  • Mobile unit removed
  • Gross or manifest clerical error

The property tax refund application can be made for a period during the year or for the entire year.  This application must be made to the City of Cornwall no later than February 28th of the year following the taxation year to which the application relates.

Application for Adjustment in Taxes 

 Sewer Lateral Replacement Financing Program

The Council of the City of Cornwall has recognized from time to time city homeowners may be required to replace their sewer lateral service due to No-Corrode piping that was installed in the 1960's.  The cost associated with this type of work may cause an unexpected financial burden to the homeowner.  To assist with this unexpected cost, a loan assistance program was implemented.  

The homeowner will be required to supply 2 written detailed quotes from 2 different contractors for the external work on the private portion of the property.  The homeowner will also be advised to contact the Sewer Section of the Municipal Works Division to verify the condition of the municipal portion of the sewer lateral before work commences.  

Upon completion of the work, the cost of the replacement will be amortized over 5 years on the associated property tax bill at an interest rate of prime + 3%.  In the event of a sale or lease of the land or in the event the said lands cease to be occupied by the owner, the loan shall immediately become due and payable.

For further information on this program, you can contact Financial Services by calling (613) 930-2787 ext. 2399.

For more information, please contact:

Financial Services Department
Billing & Collection Office
360 Pitt Street
Cornwall, ON
K6H 5T9

Tel:  (613) 930-2787 ext. 2212
Fax: (613) 932-9899

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Tax Department
360 Pitt Street, Box 877, Cornwall ON, K6H 5T9
Phone: 613-930-2787 ext. 2317
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