Vancouver City Council recently passed a motion that would increase the Empty Homes Tax (EHT) from 1.25% to 3.) next year.
This tax was introduced in 2017 to reduce the rampant property speculation and foreign home ownership that was going on, leaving many homes in the city vacant during a housing crisis.
For homeowners in Vancouver whose property is not their principal residence and if they do not rent it out for at least 6 months of the year, they are assessed the EHT (currently 1.25%) on the assessed value of the home every February.
“This groundbreaking tool has helped move thousands of homes back onto the rental market to help house our neighbours, but there are still too many homes that remain empty,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart in a recent media release.
“By tripling the tax from one per cent to three per cent since the tax launched, we’re sending an even stronger message that homes are for people, not speculation.”
According to the City of Vancouver, the EHT has worked by reducing the number of vacant properties recorded between 2017 and 2019 by 25%. The money raised is being used to support new affordable housing that is badly needed in the city.
The EHT should not be confused with the provincial government’s separate speculation tax and vacancy tax.
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