Vancouver Again Raises its Empty Homes Tax – News

“The empty homes tax in Vancouver will more than double next year,” reports Alyse Kotyk. “Council voted in favour of increasing the tax from 1.25 per cent to three per cent for 2021.”

The city adopted the tax in 2017 to control the cost of housing in the expensive city (along with a foreign buyer tax) by removing incentives for speculation, starting the tax originally at 1 percent, according to Kotyk.

Another article by Eric Zimmer details the results of the Empty Homes Tax on several key housing market metrics: “According to the city, there has been a 25% reduction in the number of vacant properties recorded between 2017 and 2019. Of the 1,989 properties declared vacant in 2018, 41% were converted to occupied status last year.”

The Empty Homes Tax has also raised revenue for new affordable housing projects totaling $61.3 million, along with another $25 million for the 2019-2022 Community Housing Incentive Program, “which provides grants to non-profit housing operators to improve the affordability of social housing and co-op housing projects,” according to Zimmer.

Another article by CBC News cites analysis by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation that credits the tax with pushing 5,000condominiums to the rental market in 2019, including 3,000 units in Downtown Vancouver alone.

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