Empty Homes Tax rate to increase to 3% for 2021 tax year
I'm so glad that Council backed my plan to stand up for renters and raise the Empty Homes Tax to 3%.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart
Today City Council directed City staff to increase the Empty Homes Tax (EHT) rate to 3% for the 2021 tax year. The rate remains at 1.25% for the 2020 tax reference year — declarations for 2020 opened on Tuesday and are due by February 2, 2021.
The motion to increase the rate to 3% for the 2021 tax year was put forward by Mayor Kennedy Stewart to further encourage owners of vacant properties to place them on the rental market.
"I'm so glad that Council backed my plan to stand up for renters and raise the Empty Homes Tax to 3%," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. "This groundbreaking tool has helped move thousands of homes back onto the rental market to help house our neighbours, but there are still too many homes that remain empty. By tripling the tax from 1% to 3% since the tax launched, we're sending an even stronger message that homes are for people, not speculation."
Rate increase to be enacted by Council at a future meeting
This is the second increase to the tax rate since the EHT launched in 2017. In 2019, staff were directed by City Council to increase the rate for the first time, from 1% to 1.25%.
Amendments to the Vacancy Tax By-law, to reflect this rate increase, will need to be enacted by Council at a future meeting.
Supporting social housing
$61.3 million of net revenues from the EHT have been allocated to support affordable housing initiatives in Vancouver since the tax launched in 2017. In that same time period, the number of vacant properties has fallen by 25%.