Victoria’s mayor wants to see her municipality and the rest of B.C. given the power to implement a vacant home tax.
Lisa Helps says with the City of Vancouver being given that ability by the province, other municipalities tackling a housing crisis should be afforded the same opportunity.
“What we’re calling for is an amendment to the community charter, which is the piece of provincial legislation which covers the other municipalities in British Columbia outside of Vancouver.”
The B.C. legislature is being recalled on July 25th to amend the Vancouver Charter to allow the tax, but that change will only affect Vancouver itself.
Helps says a vacancy tax won’t solve all the issues, but says the housing crisis is getting so severe, municipalities need all of the help they can get.
“The idea is to have as many tools in the tool box of a municipality to increase the supply of rental housing and home affordable home ownership.”
She adds she’s heard plenty of horror stories from Victoria residents on real estate.
The Vancouver suburbs of North Vancouver and Richmond say they’re watching the issue, but say they have no formal plans to try and move forward with a similar tax.