Wednesday, May 16, 2018

#136 / Now Here's A Concept!

Vancouver, British Columbia has an "Empty Homes Tax." Click the link to find out about it. The basic concept is that a tax will be imposed on any residential property that is vacant, as a way to make housing available for real people. In Vancouver, as in my home town, Santa Cruz, California, there are a lot of "vacant" homes, because a very large number of properties have been purchased as second or third homes for the wealthy. Local working families, in the meantime, can't afford either to rent or buy.

As for the headline, I think it is undoubtedly accurate. Those with second homes must either rent them, or pay the tax. They would rather not have to do that. 

On the other hand, the Empty Homes Tax helps those caught by the kind of vicious affordable housing crisis that plagues both Santa Cruz and Vancouver. I think there is a famous song about this

Which Side Are You On?

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