There are two taxes that homeowners need to know about in Vancouver: The BC Speculation and Vacancy Tax and the West Vancouver Empty Home Tax. They are both separate taxes and require property owners to complete annual declarations.
Designed to address Vancouver’s unaffordable housing market, the speculation and vacancy tax was introduced in 2018 as a way of raising money for affordable housing projects. It was also intended to curb foreign investment and encourage owners to put their non-principal residences up for rent.
How is the tax calculated?
Vacant homes are a major problem for Vancouver’s housing market, and the city has introduced a variety of policies to address it. Specifically, the empty homes tax and speculation and vacancy tax were created to encourage homeowners to bring vacant properties back into use.
The City of Vancouver has also introduced a number of exemptions that may prevent you from having to pay the empty home tax. For example, properties that are used as your primary residence by you, or your family member, for at least six months of the current year will be exempt from the tax. Similarly, properties that are rented for residential purpose for at least six months of the current year (rental periods must be 30 consecutive days or more in order to count towards the 6 months) will be exempt from the empty homes tax.
According to a statement released by the city, the number of residential parcels assessed for the tax decreased by 3% between 2019 and 2020. The decrease is attributed to multiple factors, including the number of owners using their properties and applying for building or RV parking permits.
If you have a second property that is not your principal residence, and it is being occupied by someone else for at least six months of the year, you may be eligible for a tax credit of up to CAD 2,000 on the vacant home. This credit is only available for council-approved empty homes and homes that have been declared by the owner as a secondary residence.
This tax was designed to help turn empty homes into affordable housing, and also ensure foreign owners and satellite families contribute fairly to B.C.’s tax system. It has an annual declaration process and collects revenue to support affordable housing projects in taxable regions. The tax rate is two per cent of a property’s assessed value for foreign owners and satellite families, and 0.5 percent for Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are not members of a satellite family.
There are a few exemptions that can help you avoid paying the west vancouver empty home tax. First, you can avoid paying the empty homes tax if your property is your principal residence or if it is rented out for six months of the year or more.
Second, you may also be exempt from paying the empty homes tax if you have a second or third home that is not your main residence. The city is trying to encourage people to use their properties as rentals instead of for personal use, and this can reduce your empty home tax bill.
Another way to avoid paying the empty home tax is to make sure that your property is occupied at all times. The city has a three-year housing strategy that outlines 120 housing initiatives to increase rental availability and help Vancouver homeowners keep their properties from becoming vacant.
You can even avoid paying the empty home tax if you own a owner in care unit. This is a special type of dwelling that can be used as a secondary residence if you have someone living in it with you.
The empty homes tax is a way to help lower the number of vacant properties in Vancouver, and it was created to encourage homeowners to rent out their properties. In addition to lowering the number of empty homes, it also helps fund affordable housing initiatives in the city.
It costs 1% of the assessed taxable value of your property, if you are not renting it out for at least 6 months of the year. This is less than half of a percent, but it’s still a significant amount of money that you should avoid if you can.
For example, if you have a one-bedroom condo that costs $1 million and the empty home tax is 1% of its taxable value, then the cost will be $10,000. It’s important to remember that the empty homes tax is only applied to unoccupied residential properties, so it won’t apply to commercial properties or other types of real estate.
The west vancouver empty home tax is a tax levied by the city on owners of residential property that remains vacant. The tax was introduced as part of an effort to address the growing housing crisis. Like the provincial speculation and vacancy tax, it’s designed to help free up homes that can be rented out, instead of sitting empty.
While the tax was originally implemented to target speculators, it has also helped turn thousands of vacant properties into rental housing. The government estimates that the tax will generate up to $115 million in revenue over five years, most of which is directed towards grants for non-profit organizations to develop affordable housing buildings.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Stewart says the tax is an important tool to fight against speculation and free up homes that can be rented out full-time. He says the tax is also a way to motivate homeowners to bring their homes back to market, helping free up more housing for local residents.
Owners of non-principal residences (homes where the primary resident lives more than six months of the year) must submit a declaration every year, which states the status of the property and determines whether it is exempt or not. In addition, owners who work out of their properties regularly must provide proof that they have tenants for at least six months a year.
The rate of the empty home tax is 3% of a property’s assessed taxable value, which will increase to 5% in 2023. The tax is levied on all Class 1 residential property in the city.
If you are unsure whether or not your property is subject to the empty home tax, you can call 3-1-1 for assistance. You can also check your property status online.
You can also find out how the tax is enforced, about the audit process, and how to dispute a bylaw notice.
The empty home tax was first implemented in Vancouver in 2017 as a response to the city’s unaffordable housing situation. It was a move that prompted West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth to renew her battle to get a similar tax in her city. She’s encouraged by the tax’s success in other cities, including Santa Cruz, where voters will consider a similar ordinance on November 8.
Time to declare
If you are a Vancouver homeowner, chances are you have received a letter from the city asking you to declare your property status. This is important because it will determine whether or not you will have to pay the west vancouver empty home tax.
The vacancy tax is a key component of the city’s Housing Vancouver strategy, which is aimed at reducing vacancy rates and bringing more affordable homes to Vancouver residents. However, the tax can be problematic for many homeowners if they are not properly prepared.
One of the most common concerns is that the tax will be applied to properties that were not occupied at all during the previous year. This could include a vacant single-family residence that has been unoccupied for a long period of time, or even a rental property that is not occupied at all.
This is particularly the case if the owner has not declared their property status since the beginning of the vacancy tax reference year. The only way to avoid having your property deemed vacant for this tax reference year is to submit a declaration by the deadline.
It’s also important to note that if you own a residential property that is now being used as a commercial building, you will still need to declare your occupancy status as the property is still considered residential under the vacancy tax. If this is the case, you should contact BC Assessment to request that your property be re-zoned to avoid having to pay the vacancy tax.
As it stands, the tax is 1% of a property’s assessed taxable value. This amount is based on BC Assessment’s latest average assessed values for Vancouver homes.
The vacancy tax is meant to encourage owners of empty properties to rent them out in order to boost the housing supply. It is also supposed to help relieve pressure on the city’s red-hot rental market.
A recent analysis by the Public Policy Forum of local property data indicates that the tax may make a modest dent in the housing crisis. But Hani Eskandari, who owns a house near Main and 25th Street with his wife, is worried about its impact.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.