More than a dozen businesses along Marine Drive have permanently closed over the past few years. White Rock council wants the Community Charter amended to give cities authority to tax commercial and residential properties that sit vacant long-term. (File photo)

B.C. city’s quest to tax vacant homes going to UBCM

Resolution asking for Community Charter amendment to be considered at September convention

White Rock council’s quest for authority to impose an annual vacancy tax on residential and commercial properties is among resolutions to be considered at the next Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

UBCM president Arjun Singh confirmed in a June 27 letter to council that the resolution will be presented to the membership at the September 2019 convention. The letter was to be received for information during council’s July 8 meeting, after Peace Arch News’ press deadline.

PAN reported in January that council and staff were taking a first look at possible legislation to tax vacant property that is allowed to sit dormant for long periods of time.

Proposed by Coun. Anthony Manning, the idea is modelled on the measure used in Vancouver, which taxes vacant residential properties at one per cent of assessed value – and raised $8 million in 2017.

READ MORE: Five per cent ‘vacancy tax’ proposed for White Rock

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

Manning’s proposal – which was unanimously endorsed by council – suggested a tax of five per cent on assessed value on both residential and business properties.

Manning told PAN in January that one aim of the tax is to provide incentive to owners, particularly absentee owners, to lease empty commercial properties that are robbing both the Marine Drive waterfront and the uptown area of vibrancy.

The resolution to be considered at the UBCM notes that White Rock is governed through the Community Charter, “where there is no current authority to implement a Vacancy Tax.”

The city asks that UBCM work with provincial government to amend that authority, “permitting municipalities the authority to impose, by bylaw, an annual vacancy tax on taxable residential and commercial properties, and that the criteria and administrative requirements be similar to those of the Vancouver Charter.”

The UBCM convention is set for Sept. 23-27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

Most Read