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BC  

1,000s face empty-home tax

Nearly 8,500 homes have been declared vacant or underused in Vancouver after the submission deadline passed for the city's new empty homes tax.

The figure not only includes properties that were deemed vacant, but also those that claimed one of the various exemptions to the levy.

It also includes some 2,100 homes that will be hit with the tax because no declaration was submitted by Monday's deadline.

The city says 60 per cent of the empty or underused units are condominiums, 34 per cent are single-family houses and six per cent are multi-family and other types of homes.

Downtown Vancouver is home to 2,250 unoccupied or underutilized homes, by far the largest number, but the West End and Shaughnessy have the highest percentage of vacant units relative to the total number of residential properties in the neighbourhoods.

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada and is set at a rate of one per cent of a home's assessed value.

It is aimed at freeing up more units for the city's tight rental market.



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