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Vancouver boasts 15 per cent drop in vacancies under Empty Homes Tax

For CTV News

The number of Vancouver homes declared vacant has dropped 15 per cent since the implementation of the Empty Homes Tax, according to numbers released by the city Wednesday.

There were 922 properties declared vacant by the Feb. 4 deadline, compared to the 1,085 declared vacant by the deadline last year.

Officials said just over half of those properties now occupied are being rented out to tenants.

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“The year-over-year numbers are very encouraging,” Mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a news release.

“The main objective of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax is to influence property owners to put their empty properties on the rental market and the data shows that is happening.”

The Empty Homes Tax took effect in 2017, and homeowners were given until March 5, 2018 to declare their homes as occupied, exempt or vacant.

People with vacant homes are dinged with a hefty tax of one per cent of their property’s assessed taxable value, resulting in $38 million in revenue for the city in the first year.

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