Vancouver’s empty homes tax was designed to create more rental property but even some people who live in their homes are being forced to shell out big bucks to pay for the fee.
Kelly Hayes works as a midwife in Vancouver, and stays at the condo which her husband Wayne owns, one to three weeks every month. The rest of the time she lives with her husband at their principal residence on Salt Spring Island.
“As you can see it’s far from vacant,” she said as she tours Ross McLaughlin around the suite, “This is my home, how can I rent this out?”
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But when they filling out the online empty homes tax declaration, the condo didn’t fit the boxes.
Yet it appears as though she will be forced to pay nearly $8,000 in Empty Homes Tax.
“And I honestly thought as I worked my way through there was going to be a button to push and say you’re exempt. Your house isn’t empty,” she explained.
Hayes printed off a number of letters to the mayor and the city pleading for an exemption. But she couldn’t get them to budge.