NPA Vancouver councillor hoping to amend empty homes tax bylaw

Condo towers are seen in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday August 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A Vancouver city councillor is bringing forward a motion to amend the empty homes tax by-law.

Melissa De Genova with the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) has filed a motion hoping that will staff re-evaluate the tax and provide exemptions for people who frequent their homes.

READ MORE: Vancouver homeowner says Empty Homes Tax is hurting those with second homes

The motion calls for an exemption for residents who frequent their homes, but don’t live there full-time, as well as seniors and people with disabilities who might not be able to serve as a landlord. It also calls for the metrics of how many homes subjected to the tax have since been rented out.

WATCH: Global News coverage of empty homes tax

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De Genova says she decided to take action after hearing from residents who said they were victims of the tax.

“One of those people spends one to three weeks in her home and works in Vancouver, however, also has family on one of the Gulf Islands,” De Genova said.

READ MORE: 11% of Vancouver homeowners haven’t filed empty home tax declaration as deadline looms

She said she also heard from senior citizens who have a home in Vancouver, but help care for their grandchildren outside of the city. While others have told her they can’t act as a landlord, making it difficult for them to rent their home.

“It wasn’t called ’empty homes tax,’ it was called ‘encouraging homes for renters,’” said De Genova.

The motion will be discussed by council on Feb. 20.

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