City of Vancouver reminds residents of Empty Homes Tax declaration deadline

Nov 25 2020, 1:37 am

The Vancouver Empty Homes Tax (EHT) property status declarations for the 2020 tax year are due February 2, 2021.

Each residential property is required to make one declaration, with instructions being mailed out to all property owners over the coming weeks. Declarations can be made online at the City of Vancouver’s website.

Launched in 2017, the EHT was established to incentivize homeowners to make their empty and under-utilized properties available as rental homes.

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.

To date, the municipal government has raised $61.3 million in revenue from the EHT to support new affordable housing, including $25 million towards 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.

As of 2019, there were 192,117 homes within Vancouver’s jurisdiction, including 132,042 homes registered as the principal residence and 54,050 homes as tenanted. About 1% of the homes were deemed vacant, and 4,132 homes were exempt.

The tax for the 2020 vacancy period will increase to 1.25% of the property’s assessed taxable value, up from 1% in 2019.

The EHT should not be confused for the provincial government’s separate speculation and vacancy tax, which also requires an annual declaration.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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