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Dear Editor:

Glad to hear that at least we taxpayers aren't paying for empty storefronts anymore.

But imposing a cost, as St. Catharines has done, would be strategic and appropriate. These empty stores are not only hugely undesirable in the public space that is Main Street, but are a fire and security liability to their neighbours and a financial burden on the City and on police, as the article notes.

If it cost landlords something to leave a building empty, they would either lower the rent to attract someone more quickly, or reduce the selling price of the building to get out, either of which would allow a future enterprise to succeed at the lower cost or rent. Make the landlord pay the social cost of the empty building, in other words, and the market will sort things out from there.

Dieter Heinrich, Owen Sound




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