Mayor credits Vancouver empty homes tax for more rentals on the market
The Vancouver skyline is pictured in 2019 in this photo from CTV News Vancouver's Gary Barndt.
VANCOUVER -- Vancouver has fewer vacant properties and the mayor is crediting the city's empty homes tax.
Figures show the number of vacant homes declared in the city last year decreased by almost 15 per cent from 2018 and 30 per cent from the first year of the program, 2017.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the tax is working and it shows that more homes are being returned to the rental market.
Stewart says the city would like to see even more homes available and that's why it's increasing the tax to 1.25 per cent of assessed taxable value this year.
The largest percentage of empty homes is in the city's west end and downtown areas.
Properties that were declared vacant or deemed vacant by the city will be issued a bill for one per cent of the 2019 assessed taxable value, with payment due by April 16.