Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Real Life Examples of Land Value Taxes (Part 2)

Source: Vancouver expects to collect $38M from vacancy tax in first year, Vancouver Homeless Count

The city of Vancouver recently implement a vacancy tax on all unoccupied residential properties that could curb foreign land speculation and generate $38 million in annual revenue for affordable housing and other public services. The city currently has 2,538 vacant homes and 2,181 homeless residents, 659 of whom are unsheltered; this marks a 2% increase from the previous year. The $38 million could go a long way to reducing and eventually eliminating homelessness. The vacancy tax could also be an incentive to rent or lease property lowering the overall cost of housing and allowing more people to live in the city instead of commuting; however, the tax is only assessed on 1% of property values so its impact may be minimal. A much higher vacancy tax rate coupled with a reduction or elimination of the property tax assessed on buildings and improvements would go much further in making housing more affordable for everyone.