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Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax

In an effort to curb the much talked-about and much debated empty home situation in Vancouver (supposedly the number is ~20k vacant homes), the city, as many of you know, implemented an Empty Homes Tax.

To enforce this, the City of Vancouver now requires that every year, every owner of residential property must file a status declaration. If you don’t file this by the deadline, the property is automatically deemed vacant and the tax (1% of assessed taxable value) and a penalty ($250) are applied.

Last month, 11 days before the 2017 deadline, the city published the below heat map showing the concentration of Vancouver property owners who hadn’t yet made their declaration. There were just under 4,000 undeclared properties.


But as Jens von Bergmann points out on his blog, Mountain Doodles (great data-driven blog), this was really just a map of where people live. Because if you also create a map of residential properties subject to the tax, which he did, it looks pretty similar to above.

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