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City of Vancouver to collect $30M from empty homes tax

City of Vancouver announces $30-million collected by empty homes tax
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson reveals the revenue collected from the city's newly-implemented empty homes tax at a press conference held Monday morning.

The City of Vancouver says it will collect $30 million in revenue this year from the newly-implemented empty homes tax.

That revenue will go towards affordable housing in Vancouver according to Mayor Gregor Robertson.

To date, there have been 183,911 declarations of empty homes in the city, which Robertson said is about 99 per cent of all empty homes.

There are 8,500 properties still unoccupied or underutilized.

On average, homeowners paid about $9,900 for the empty homes tax.

The revenue collected will go towards maintaining winter heat shelters, the rent bank or buying more land for affordable housing.

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

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The deadline for homeowners was Feb. 2.

Failing to submit would result in an automatic assumption that the home is vacant and will be subject to the tax, which is one per cent of the assessed home value. Homeowners will also be subject to a $250 penalty for not declaring on time.

In January, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Roberton said the tax is one of the “most important tools” the city has implemented to address the housing crisis.

Vancouver has one of the lowest rental vacancy rates and one of the highest rental costs in Canada.

-With files from Estefania Duran, CKNW