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First year of empty homes tax to generate $38M for Vancouver

Last Updated Nov 29, 2018 at 12:58 pm PDT

FILE - Condo and office towers fill the downtown skyline in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 30, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Money generated by Vancouver's empty homes tax is expected to be $8 million more than expected

The city had estimated to collect $30 million in taxes

The deadline to submit declarations for this year is Feb. 4

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The City of Vancouver is expected to collect more revenue from the first year of its empty homes tax than initially estimated.

Although it was thought the tax would generate $30 million, the city’s financial services director says updated numbers suggest the figure is closer to $38 million.

“That was just really due to just a change in estimate regarding the ultimate outcome of people who didn’t submit their declarations,” Melanie Kerr adds.

RELATED: Vancouver expects $30 million in first year of empty homes tax

She says the one per cent of approximately 186,000 homeowners who haven’t submitted claims will automatically be charged the tax.

“We have a number of complaints that have been submitted that are outlined in the report, but the vast majority of those complaints relate to property owners who did not submit their declaration,” Kerr says. “According to the bylaw, if you do not submit your declaration, then you can be deemed vacant and issued with a vacancy tax bill.”

WATCH: Empty Homes Tax Declarations Are In


She says more than 2,500 were listed as vacant last year, with close to 5,400 qualifying for exemptions.

So far the city has collected $21-million in revenue.

Submissions for the 2018 taxation year will be accepted until Feb. 4.