Vancouver may implement vacant homes tax even without province

By Steve Randall
The Mayor of Vancouver says the city council may push ahead with plans to tax owners of vacant properties, even if there is no action from the provincial government.

Gregor Robertson wants premier Christy Clark to implement a tax on vacant residential homes but if that does not happen by August 1 then the city may decide to go it alone.

The mayor says that those who leave homes empty are treating their properties as a business asset and should therefore be taxed along the same lines that businesses are.

However, the provincial finance minister Mike Jong issued a statement which suggests that the city will not need to be a lone wolf on the matter: “We applaud the City of Vancouver for considering options to improve the low vacancy rate for rental accommodation. It’s essential that the local government, the provincial government and the federal government work together on this issue.”

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