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Sigh of Relief – Empty Homes Tax to Remain at 3%

May 15, 2023

Vancouver City Council voted on May 10, 2023 to hold the Empty Homes Tax (“EHT”) rate at 3% for 2023; rejecting a bid to increase the rate to 5%.

Additional exemptions to the EHT were also introduced. New exemptions include properties:

  • with an issued building or development permit;
  • whose owners have submitted a rezoning inquiry, rezoning application or policy inquiry;
  • which have been developed but not sold to their first owners;
  • uninhabitable due to hazardous conditions;
  • which are underused but act as a secondary residence for the purposes of receiving medical treatment; and
  • subject to strata rental restrictions (2023 only).

The City will now also accept late declaration filings up to five years from the vacancy reference year (upon payment of a late filing penalty).

Council has also directed City staff to explore the implications of a gradated tax rate which increases the penalty for property owners whose homes remain vacant for multiple years. No timeline has been announced with respect to this policy initiative.

For more information, please contact Hamish Gray or any of the members of our Real Estate Practice Group.

Expertise

Important Notice: The information contained in this Article is intended for general information purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. It is not intended as legal advice from Harper Grey LLP or the individual author(s), nor intended as a substitute for legal advice on any specific subject matter. Detailed legal counsel should be sought prior to undertaking any legal matter. The information contained in this Article is current to the last update and may change. Last Update: May 15, 2023. ©Harper Grey LLP 2023

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