City releases first Empty Homes Tax Annual Report
We have published an annual report for the first year of the Empty Homes Tax program, including an updated revenue estimate.
First year in numbers
- Close to 184,000 declarations were submitted, which represented 99% of all residential property owners in Vancouver
- Out of the total 186,043 properties:
- 178,120 were occupied
- 5,385 were exempt
- 2,538 were vacant
- We estimate we will receive $38 million in total revenue—approximately $21 million has been collected to date
About the Empty Homes Tax
The Empty Homes Tax (also known as the Vacancy Tax) was developed to help relieve pressure on Vancouver’s rental housing market, by returning empty or under-utilized properties to the long-term rental market. Revenue generated by the tax is required to be used for affordable housing initiatives in Vancouver.
Where the revenue will be spent
The total revenue collected will pay for the one-time implementation costs ($7.5 million) and first-year operating costs ($2.5 million) of the program. Earlier this fall, City Council allocated the first $8 million in revenue to specific affordable housing initiatives, as detailed in the annual report.
City staff will continue to monitor the impact of the tax on housing supply and affordability, including the EHT property status declarations data year over year.
Declare your property
The declaration period for the second year of the tax is now open, and the deadline is February 4, 2019. Property owners who have yet to receive their advance property tax notice in the mail can still make their declaration online using the folio and account numbers from their previous tax notice.
Need assistance with your declaration?
Anyone who needs assistance to make their Empty Homes Tax declaration online can:
- Visit City Hall or any Vancouver Public Library branch for in-person guidance
- Call 3-1-1, which offers translation services
Instructions for how to declare are also available in multiple languages online.