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This Act is current to May 30, 2018
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Vancouver Charter

[SBC 1953] CHAPTER 55

Part XXX — Vacancy Tax

Definitions for this Part

615.   In this Part

"property status declaration" means a property status declaration required under section 618 (a) [permissive vacancy tax by-law powers];

"residential property", subject to any applicable regulations, means real property classified as class 1 property (residential) under the Assessment Act;

"status", in relation to a residential property, means whether the property is any of the following, as applicable:

(a) in a category of residential property that is exempt under section 617 (f) [required vacancy tax by-law provisions] from the vacancy tax;

(b) vacant property;

(c) taxable property;

"taxable property", in relation to a vacancy tax, means residential property that is all of the following:

(a) vacant property;

(b) not exempt from taxation under section 373 [annual rating by-law];

(c) not in a category of residential property that is exempt under section 617 (f) from the vacancy tax;

"vacancy reference period" means a period of time specified by a vacancy tax by-law for the purpose of determining whether residential property was unoccupied during the period such that it is vacant property;

"vacancy tax" means a tax imposed on taxable property by a vacancy tax by-law;

"vacancy tax by-law" means a by-law under section 616 (1) [vacancy tax];

"vacant property" means residential property that is unoccupied during the vacancy reference period for at least the total length of time specified by a vacancy tax by-law and in the circumstances established in the vacancy tax by-law.

2016-27-1.

Vacancy tax

616.   (1) The Council may, by by-law, impose an annual vacancy tax on a parcel of taxable property in accordance with this Part.

(2) A registered owner of taxable property must pay the vacancy tax imposed on that parcel of taxable property by a vacancy tax by-law.

(3) A vacancy tax, together with any applicable penalties and interest payable under section 618 (d) [permissive vacancy tax by-law powers], owed to the city is a debt due to the city and is a levy that

(a) is a charge or lien on the real property on or in respect of which the vacancy tax is imposed,

(b) has priority over any claim, lien, privilege or encumbrance of any person except the Crown, and

(c) does not require registration to preserve it.

(4) The city may use monies raised from a vacancy tax only for the purposes of initiatives respecting affordable housing and for the administration and collection of the vacancy tax.

2016-27-1.

Required vacancy tax by-law provisions

617.   A vacancy tax by-law must do the following:

(a) provide for a process for the administration and collection of a vacancy tax;

(b) establish circumstances in which residential property is to be considered unoccupied;

(c) specify a vacancy reference period and the total length of time that apply for the purpose of determining whether a residential property is vacant property;

(d) establish the basis on which the vacancy tax is imposed, which may be any basis in relation to taxable property;

(e) establish the rate or amount of the vacancy tax;

(f) establish exemptions from the vacancy tax;

(g) establish requirements respecting notice to a registered owner of a residential property that is subject to the vacancy tax;

(h) provide for a record of taxable properties and for a process to correct and update that record;

(i) provide for a process to hear and determine complaints respecting the imposition of a vacancy tax, including providing for a review process for determinations of complaints;

(j) provide for a process to refund to a registered owner any excess amount of vacancy tax paid by the registered owner and any amount of penalty and interest paid under section 618 (d) [permissive vacancy tax by-law powers] on the excess;

(k) provide for the preparation of an annual report respecting the vacancy tax, which report must include the amount of monies raised from the vacancy tax and how the monies were used;

(l) provide for making the annual report referred to in paragraph (k) available to the public.

2016-27-1.

Permissive vacancy tax by-law powers

618.   A vacancy tax by-law may do any of the following:

(a) provide that a registered owner of a residential property must make a property status declaration;

(b) establish requirements and provide for a process respecting property status declarations;

(c) provide for requiring a registered owner of a residential property to provide information respecting the status of the property, including providing information to support a property status declaration and submitting evidence to verify the declaration;

(d) establish penalties and interest payable for failure to pay the vacancy tax and for failure to pay the vacancy tax by a specified date;

(e) authorize employees of the city or other persons to enter onto residential property in accordance with section 621 [entering onto residential property];

(f) provide that a vacancy tax is a levy lawfully inserted in the real-property tax roll and, if that provision is made, section 409 (2) and (3) [special charges that are to be collected as real-property taxes] applies.

2016-27-1.

Vacancy tax by-law variation power

619.   The Council may, in a vacancy tax by-law,

(a) establish categories of residential property, registered owners and vacant property,

(b) make different provisions for different categories established under paragraph (a) in respect of the following:

(i) different vacancy reference periods and different total lengths of time that apply for the purpose of determining whether a residential property is vacant property;

(ii) different rates or amounts of vacancy tax;

(iii) different exemptions;

(iv) different requirements respecting notices to a registered owner;

(v) different requirements respecting a property status declaration, including respecting any information or evidence required under section 620 [property status declarations];

(vi) different requirements respecting information that a registered owner must provide respecting the status of a residential property of the owner, and

(c) make different provisions for different times, conditions or circumstances.

2016-27-1.

Property status declarations

620.   (1) For the purposes of administering a vacancy tax, a vacancy tax by-law may do any of the following respecting property status declarations:

(a) provide for requiring a registered owner of a residential property to provide information respecting the property and the identity and address of the registered owner and the individual occupying the property, if any, which may include information respecting the status of the property and the nature of its occupancy during the vacancy reference period;

(b) require a registered owner of a residential property to submit evidence necessary to verify a property status declaration and the status of the property during the vacancy reference period;

(c) specify the type and form of information that a registered owner must provide or of the evidence that a registered owner must submit;

(d) provide for determining the information and evidence that is to be considered satisfactory to demonstrate the status of a residential property;

(e) establish fines and penalties that may be imposed on a registered owner who, in relation to a residential property,

(i) fails to make a property status declaration,

(ii) makes a false property status declaration,

(iii) fails to provide required information or to submit required evidence,

(iv) provides information or submits evidence that is not considered satisfactory, or

(v) provides false information or submits false evidence;

(f) provide that, if a registered owner does anything listed in paragraph (e) (i) to (v), the residential property is considered to be vacant property and is subject to the vacancy tax.

(2) For certainty, a vacancy tax by-law may require a registered owner to provide information or submit evidence whether or not the owner makes a property status declaration.

2016-27-1.

Entering onto residential property

621.   (1) The authority to enter onto a residential property may be exercised by an authorized employee of the city or other person authorized by the city only

(a) in relation to a residential property for which a property status declaration may be required under a vacancy tax by-law,

(b) for the purpose of determining the status of the property and whether the property is subject to the vacancy tax,

(c) at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, and

(d) after reasonable steps are taken to advise the registered owner and the individual occupying the property, if any, before entering onto the property.

(2) An authorized employee of the city or other authorized person may enter into a residential property that is a private dwelling only if the individual occupying the property, if any, consents.

2016-27-1.

Regulations

622.   (1) For the purposes of this Part, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of the definition of "residential property" in section 615 [definitions for this Part]

(a) excluding real property that is expressly included as class 1 property (residential) under the Assessment Act, and

(b) including real property that is expressly excluded from class 1 property (residential) under the Assessment Act.

2016-27-1.

[Note: Act effective July 2, 1953. 1953-55-563.]

Contents | Preamble | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV | Part XXVI | Part XXVII | Part XXVIII | Part XXIX | Part XXX