An empty home tax for Vancouver

Mayor Gregor Robertson has announced that Vancouver will move ahead with a tax on empty or under-occupied homes with our without the support of the provincial government.

The city’s report states the preferred option is for the provincial government to create and administer a new class of “residential vacant” property through BC Assessment. The designation would trigger the city to charge extra taxes on empty or under-occupied investment properties.

The second option is for the city to establish a new business tax for empty and under-occupied homes held as investment properties.

Premier Clark responded on twitter saying “We are reviewing your report and will respond quickly.”

Read the full article over at the CBC.

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David Cameron resigns after Brexit vote


What a great time to be in UK. Donald Trump is visiting there right now.


“4 ways Brexit could affect Canadians”, Toronto Star

“A Brexit could further fuel Canada’s white-hot housing market, according to BMO Nesbitt Burns, because global market uncertainty caused by Brexit might keep interests rates low.”

“In that event, the Fed will remain on ice even longer and Canadian rates will again probe all-time lows, keeping mortgage rates at an extremely low ebb and thus further fanning the flames in the domestic housing market,” said BMO chief economist Douglas Porter and senior economist Robert Kavcic.”


Spaceclown has been a busy little locust today. 6.5 RMB!

Polozi Scheme

Gregor – I think a VEXIT (from China) vote is the way to go .

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Combat roach

Main reason for brexit was influx of migrants and Canada yet keep piling a shitloads from China…


Assets bubbles all in massive correction tonight. Good luck selling a house in Vancouver going forward.
No bid.


everyone here should know that I have been bearish for some time but that I am also aware of the ongoing shenanigans to keep things propped up (for way longer than most expected/hoped). imho a brexit will only make the underlying problems worse in a number of ways

-continued safe haven buying by HAM which could even be ramped up further

-downward pressure on the loonie and commodities (and more $10 cauliflower)

-likely recession in canada which will hurt average joes the most

-no interest rate hikes for foreseeable future

-the powers that be more likely to back off on implementation of measures to cool housing market

-christy clark re-election likely means more money in the pockets of homeowners (ie. majority of voters)


Not this time. HAM will be getting margin calls by the plenty tomorrow.



Combat roach

Vanexit, departing from China already?

Vancouver Island Party Wants To Create Canada’s Newest Province


A little history lesson, Vancouver Island used to be its own territory, separate from BC mainland. I’m surprised you as a Canadian citizen didn’t know that. But then again, the average immigrant does know more about Canadian history than the average “true” Canadian.


Isn’t there already a Vancouver Island Party? It’s officially known as the Green Party.


So how would this vacancy tax be enforced?? How do you go about proving / assessing a home is “vacant”? There are so many ways around this proposal, it’s not even funny.

Increasing property tax on non-primary residence properties with tax filing person owner (ie. no trusts, corp, etc owners) or tax filing renters is much easier and harder to get around. But that is very unlikely to get passed. Even if it does, any $$$ raised will not go toward any actual useful projects or reduce existing tax burdens. So basically the average working people will be no better off than before.


Space: “… how do you go about … assessing a home is “vacant”?”
It’s easy to determine. There are about 20 indicators that could be employed.

Space: “… any $$$ raised will not go toward any actual useful projects or reduce existing tax burdens. So basically the average working people will be no better off than before”.

Why do you say this? You have no basis for making such a claim. It’s BS. Stop denigrating every proposal for fixing the problem.


Care to list some of those 20 indicators and how they wouldn’t be circumvented?

As for lack of trust in gov’t, geez…I don’t know…maybe their track record on handling new tax revenues??

Gosh….why do I even bother trying to educate airheads like you. It’s even worse than playing music to a cow.


I said “indicator” not “rule”. An indicator is a sign of something — evidence. I imagine that if about 10 or 12 indicators out of 20 or25 were met, that would trigger an audit, i.e. a closer look by someone who has the official role to do so. An indicator could be something like sidewalks that go unshoveled causing people to fall and hurt themselves. No indicator by itself would be conclusive. Even 5 indicators would not be conclusive, just as in the case of many medical diagnoses.


The problem with this plan is that it’s basically the smallest possible “fix” to the problem that politicians could possibly have come up with. So, yes, it will have a small effect in the right direction, so I support it. But they cynical side of me thinks it’s merely a ploy to appear to be doing something, when in fact doing very little. If Gregor or any other politician really wanted to do something to make homes more affordable, they could do a combination of these things: -End government guarantees of CMHC insurance -Raise the minimum down payment to 10% -Fully tax capital gains on homes -Change immigration policy to encourage immigrants to settle in cities other than Vancouver and Toronto -Restrict, tax or ban foreign ownership -Implement a “flipper tax” (for example by taxing 100% of gains if a… Read more »

Combat roach

– Completely ban immigration from Chiana for the next 40 years to balance the rest.
– Cancel all those 10 years visitor visas and other nonsenses made to sell RE
– Deport all “investors” who came over Quebec and didn’t invest anything
– Deport all those who don’t have valid reason or qualification to be in BC
– Deport within 48 hours all tax cheaters a.k.a. “cash only”
– Get rid of Chinese signage on airports and streets in Canada
– Jail up to 20 years all involved in money laundering and deport within 8 hours those who came overseas to launder here.


Start with this Wang guy and all his chinese clients immediately.
“Xun Wang’s companies hauled in $10 million over eight years by producing altered Chinese passports and fraudulent identities for up to 1,200 clients in arguably the largest immigration fraud case in Canadian history.”
I am shock that his 1,200 clients are still in Canada.


he also kept his earnings too I think….see why criminals love Canada??

As for his clients, they are considered to be victims of his crime, not accomplices. So while some will be investigated for fraud, none will be deported thanks to the new Lib gov’t policies.


keep on masturbating to your fantasies….

Combat roach

is that what your father told you after checking a dating website?


You mean only Chinese people use dating websites?? Hmm…so I guess the rumors are true then…all those hot and also the fat Caucasians guys & gals on those websites are either all bots, or lonely Asian dudes looking for a hookup.

I guess proud real Caucasians like the bears only use exclusive locust free sites like SugarDaddy and SugarMamas…


Lol ok Mr Trump.


Whenever foreign mainlander Chinese buy a large place provide them with a colourful brochure and lengthy detailed instructions about how to rent out a place in Vancouver, including where to advertise it and what the rental laws are. Also instruct them about nondiscrimination and their responsibility to operate in one of Canada’s two official languages. Then contact them every two weeks until they succeed in renting out their place (with a year lease minimum) to people who are making their lives here in BC.


Good luck surviving a charter of rights challenge for that kind of law.


Huh? Did you actually read what I said? Please just go away. You’re a creep.


You can force to people rent out their places?? Or that they must conduct their private business in English only?


The point of my post, since you didn’t get it, is that mainlander Chinese are unlikely to actually know very much about how to do business in Canada in accordance with Canadian laws. Any newcomer, even from another jurisdiction in Canada, is happy to have practical information collected in one place, such as a brochure. The point of my post is that some of the problem of places remaining empty is due to ignorance. Apparently, your aim is to ensure that more of Canada gets sold to people who have no commitment to Canada to do with the places as they will, despite a .6 vacancy rate in rentals. What’s wrong with you?




No actually it’s less than that, isn’t it? .6% I should have said.


Ever occurred to you that maybe, just maybe, these buyers of multi-million dollar mansions or tear downs don’t need the rental money or even want to rent out the places? Do majority of Canadian snowbirds rent out their winter getaway places to locals when they aren’t using it? Doubt it. Those who do rent out tend to rent out to foreigners like themselves, not locals. Also, seriously, if they do rent out all those mansion at market rates or any price that makes financial sense, how many families can actually afford it? I don’t know a lot of family that can afford $5K to $10K per month rent, and those that do would have bought already. If you want to resolve the low rental stock issue, which according to a lot of bears don’t actually exists in Vancouver, the solution… Read more »


Not the way real people in Vancouver think. Real people don’t like to see waste (such as a gigantic mansion, sitting empty, making streets dark and menacing), and are working even to utilize useless lawns for vegetable garden space.


Also, those mansions would be perfect for groups of students to rent. The mainlander 1%ers should see if they can negotiate a deal with UBC (and SFU) to manage their properties and rent them out so that the properties stay occupied enough to avoid the HUGE vacancy tax which is about to be levied against them. UBC could agree to do so for a small fee, enough to offset the difference between market rent and the lower rent a student could/should pay.


So why don’t gov’t want to fix the problems?? ever thought about that? If you bother to think about that little issue then you will be ahead of a lot of “smart” bears on this blog.

Btw, we already have a flipper tax for flipping homes but it is simply not enforced, even though it is one of the easily and quickest audit to do. So why aren’t CRA spending any resources on this?? Everything is in the title office, simple slam and shut case, but CRA is not enforcing it. Why??


This is the real question. If just they put the land title office records online and funded CRA enforcement and anti-laundering regs properly the problem would be resolved. No new laws are required.


The land titles are online and CRA has had access to them for years.

As to why so little enforcement?

CRA to cut managers, fold tax-evasion units, memo shows (2014)

“These are the values of the Chinese Canadian community and they are also Conservative values.” – Stephen Harper


actually if these flipping practices are as widespread as reported, the whole exercise is not only self-funding, it is actually profit generating, a LOT of profits. They just need to hire some competent junior accountants or auditors.


I spoke with a former CRA guy, and that isn’t how they work at all. They do very little investigation, and get points for “closing files”, not how much money they bring in. In other words they count how many people they’ve won against. An action for $1k, $10k, $1m, $10m, collected or written off because they drove the person into unemployment, it doesn’t matter to them. Each file is 1 point. The incentives are insanely ass-backwards. “how many people did we fuck today”, instead of how much $ collected.


open boarders, free movement of people and capital. that’s the reality we live in.

Lifting Mexican visa rules runs counter to official advice

Mexicans accounted for more than 25 per cent of all refugee claims filed in Canada.

YVR welcomes new direct flights to Mexico City,
Vancouver Sun-Dec 2, 2015


Lucky for us, they are all hard workers who wouldn’t undercut Canadian wages, or force out locals in housing markets, segregate in their own community and making Spanish an unofficial language, and best of all, pay lots of income taxes and not taking a cent from our social welfare system! 🙂

Let’s open the gates, we need a counterbalance for the red commies coming in anyways.


This actually isn’t a terrible idea. Set up halfway houses in Dunbar and southlands for refugees with darker skin tones. Then we can find out who’s really racist.


As David Eby said yesterday during his reddit talk, that would be so easy to implement at the provincial level (even federal), but good luck to the city trying to implement that.

At some point, just raising capital taxes on every damn residences will probably be necessary, while cutting user fees to anything provided by the city (bus, library, swimming pools, name it…) will have to be done. If anyone wants to leave a home empty, fine, but you’re gonna subsidize everyone else.


You mean property tax which is about the only thing the city has powers over.

As for cutting user fees? ahahaha….good luck. Any extra $$$ raised will either go to council’s pet projects, or union raises. When is the last time CoV cutting any tax or fees or held cost even to just inflation rate? All the productivity enhancing technology of the last few decades and we have yet to see a single penny of saving in city / any gov’t bureaucracy.

Combat roach

How to Park Your Porsche in Vancouver?

Empty homes aren’t good for the car repair shops.


Maybe, if we’re lucky, this new tax will go into effect in 2018. Heckuva job, Gregor.


Is that the year that we finally eliminate homelessness in Vancouver?


We could hope for 2017.


“We are reviewing your report and will respond quickly.”

I’ll save Gregor the wait:

“Take a hike”


I’m sure the Chinese won’t be able to deceive our vigilant bylaw officers.


Referring to people as “Chinese” actually is racist. Also, it drags in a huge number of people from places like HK, Taiwan, etc, and second-generation middle-class Canadians, the majority of whom are “onside” and strongly support controlling foreign speculation. It’s just really dumb.


Not this idiotic lecture again? Thanks Tim. You’re about 6 years too late.


Be specific. Mainlander idle rich, or mainlander 1%. Don’t even just say mainlander. From what I can tell most regular mainlanders – especially over in China itself – can’t stand them either.

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If they can purchase a 10 million dollar home, they can afford to pay an extra 5 thousand dollar to keep their dirty money laundered and safe. This tax will not do anything to bring down the price.


Here’s why it will have an effect. Every step BC takes in this direction indicates a more potentially threatening future for money laundering and foreign investment. Future expectations are a very real equalizer