Owners of designated heritage buildings in the downtown core led 2013 property tax exemptions, thanks to an internationally recognized heritage revitalization program.
The Hudson building, at 1701 Douglas St., received a $155,900 tax break last year as part of a 10-year tax break program that incentivizes heritage building owners who convert upper storeys to residential use.
Close behind was the Wilson Dalby/Mc and Mc Building at 536 Herald St., a 1909 building that underwent renovation after a devastating fire in 2002.
Ken Johnson, president of the Hallmark Heritage Society, said the city’s permissive tax exemption program has received international awards for good reason.
“It’s done a great deal to give some economic viability to many downtown properties,” Johnson said. “It’s an excellent program.”
Last year, the City of Victoria received awards from the International Downtown Association and Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals for the tax exemption scheme, which has led to an uptick in heritage renovations in the city.
Other top tax-exempted buildings included the Dogwood Building, Hotel Rialto and Craigdarroch Castle, though the latter receives annual exemptions as a charitable organization each year.
Top tax-exempted buildings in 2013:
Hudson Building: $155,899
Wilson Dalby/Mc and Mc Building: $154,283
Dogwood Building: $142,378
Hotel Rialto: $91,874
McPherson Playhouse: $91,228
Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church: $90,374
Craigdarroch Castle: $87,935