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

Creston farmer feature: Sunshine Valley Farms

Known for their organic eggs, the farm began selling free-range eggs in July

Creston after-school program in jeopardy

The Grizzly Bear Out of School Care program would have around 23 children registered in past years, but due to COVID-19, it’s been limited to 16 youth — the number required in order for the program to continue

A word from the new editor

Aaron Hemens is editor for the Creston Valley Advance

Creston’s second annual 7th Siding Film Festival to return next week

Organizers opened their doors to international filmmakers, resulting in 1,000 entries from around the world

Creston police report: Aug. 3 to 10

Local RCMP received 106 calls for assistance

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read