A sold home is pictured in Vancouver on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Vancouver expects $30 million in first year of empty homes tax

City says it’s collected $18 million so far from the tax that aims to ease the near-zero vacancy rate

The City of Vancouver says it has collected $18 million from the first year of its empty homes tax and another $12 million could still flow into its coffers.

The city says in a news release that it expects to generate a total of $30 million from the first year of the tax which is applied to vacant residential properties in a bid to ease Vancouver’s near-zero vacancy rate.

The city says $8 million raised by the tax in 2017 has already been earmarked by council for specific affordable housing initiatives.

More details of the first year of the empty homes tax are due to be released Dec. 1 in the city’s first annual report on the levy.

Owners of residential properties are also being advised they must submit a property status declaration by Feb. 4, 2019, in order to meet the provisions of the tax for 2018.

Owners who don’t declare that status will be taxed, which amounts to one per cent of a property’s assessed value, and owners who miss the due date by even a day will also face a $250 penalty.

RELATED: B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the tax is an important strategy in managing Vancouver’s unaffordable housing market.

“Housing affordability is the most important issue in our city, and the empty homes tax is helping to free up more potential rental units that should be available as homes for Vancouver residents,” Stewart says in the release.

The tax does not apply to principal residences, properties rented for at least six months of the year, or properties that are eligible for one of eight exemptions.

READ MORE: Richmond woman ‘sick’ of empty homes

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bella Coola Heli Sports closed, says no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in their operation

The company has committed to informing the community if a case is reported

COVID-19 case confirmed at Subway restaurant in Cache Creek

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

COVID-19: Community working to address threat; road closures not supported by province

MLA Jennifer Rice says people should be staying home and non-essential travel is not acceptable

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

Most Read