British Columbia

Empty homes tax has put more rental properties on the market, Vancouver mayor says

Figures show the number of vacant homes declared in the city last year decreased by almost 15 per cent from 2018 and 30 per cent from 2017.

Number of vacant homes has decreased by 30 per cent since 2017

Properties deemed or declared vacant are subject to a tax of one per cent of the property's 2019 assessed taxable value. The tax goes up to 1.25 per cent in 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Vancouver has fewer vacant properties and the mayor says that's due to the city's empty homes tax.

Figures show the number of vacant homes declared in the city last year decreased by almost 15 per cent from 2018 and 30 per cent from 2017.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the tax is working and it shows that more homes are being returned to the rental market.

Stewart says the city would like to see even more homes available and that's why it's increasing the tax to 1.25 per cent of assessed taxable value this year.

The largest percentage of empty homes is in the city's West End and downtown areas.

Properties that were declared vacant or deemed vacant by the city will be issued a bill for one per cent of the 2019 assessed taxable value, with payment due by April 16.

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