Greens push shopfront vacancy tax to revitalise shopping strips
The Greens have outlined a plan to introduce a shopfront vacancy tax to try to revive the once popular shopping strips like Macaulay Rd and Errol St.
With more shops vacant, shut or for lease, The Greens have proposed to create a two per cent vacancy tax for commercial properties that stay empty for longer than six months in a calendar year.
“Empty shops affect the whole neighbourhood. Traders have had a hard couple of years, and we need to help them get back on track,” Melbourne state MP Ellen Sandell said.
“Rent prices are skyrocketing and when traders can’t make rent, too many landlords are choosing to leave shops empty rather than reducing rent.”
Ms Sandell said all funds raised from the tax would be reinvested in revitalising shopping strips by supporting artists, traders, and pop-up shops while events and festivals would be created to encourage people back to shopping strips.
According to Ms Sandell, streetscapes would also be upgraded with improvements to footpaths and expanding outdoor dining areas “to make sure our high streets are great public spaces”.
“The Greens plan will introduce a vacancy tax for shop fronts that are vacant for too long, and support businesses to open in empty premises. We will also encourage people back to our shopping strips by improving streets and footpaths and funding more events and festivals.” •