Vancouver is raising it’s empty homes tax by 25 per cent in 2020

Maria Vinca / November 28, 2019

The Empty Homes Tax is intended to relieve pressures on Vancouver rental housing market

It’s about to get more expensive for those who own empty homes in Vancouver. The city voted on Wednesday to raise the one per cent Empty Homes tax of a property’s assessed value by 25 per cent.

According to the city, the Empty Homes Tax began in 2016. It’s purpose is to return empty properties and use them as long-term rental homes for people who live in Vancouver.

The tax is separate from the provincial government’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax that only started last year.

According to the city’s annual report, there were 1,989 properties declared vacant last year comparing to 2,538 in 2017.

According to the city’s Empty Homes Annual Tax Report, data shows the city collected 23.3 million dollars in revenue in 2018. The money is used to fund affordable housing initiatives.

The report also says a total of 22.1 million dollars was collected from property owners who were found to be non-compliant.

The city says the number of empty homes from 2017 to 2018 dropped by 22 per cent, while the number of homes rented out to tenants increased by seven percent.

The report says the City plans on monitoring the follow key things over time:

  • Number of properties required to declare
  • Change in vacant and exempt properties
  • Breakdown of exemptions by type
  • Change in tenant properties
  • Occupancy status of previously vacant properties
  • Assessed value to properties subject to the Empty Homes Tax

The City has collected 23.3 million dollars in 2018 from the Empty Homes Tax
(Ben Righetti / BCIT)