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Vancouver hikes empty homes tax by 25 per cent - could Ireland learn from this?

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  • 29-11-2019 2:25pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 336 ✭✭


    Hi All,

    Given the crazy state of homes in Ireland in relation to renting etc and foreign investors - could we look to Canada and how they are finally starting to tackle this issue?

    Since the empty homes tax was launched in the 2016, city hall has collected nearly $40 million in tax revenue to fund several affordable housing initiatives.

    https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouver-hikes-empty-homes-tax-by-25-per-cent


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭suicide_circus


    empty houses, yes.

    empty rooms, no.


  • Posts: 25,611 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Should triple or quadruple rates on empty business premises too, wouldn't be long before towns were rejuvenated.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭Salary Negotiator


    Should triple or quadruple rates on empty business premises too, wouldn't be long before towns were rejuvenated.

    Coupled with reduced rates for new businesses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo


    Should triple or quadruple rates on empty business premises too, wouldn't be long before towns were rejuvenated.
    Many of the problems with empty retail premises are caused by unsustainably high rates. How is increasing rates on these premises going to fill them?


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,071 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    We failed to define vacant site properly so Dunnes are being allowed keep their former town centre shops locked up and deny any attempt to regenerate all over the country. I imagine this would be so badly defined that only derelict properties get hit rather than the intended targets


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭Salary Negotiator


    prawnsambo wrote: »
    Many of the problems with empty retail premises are caused by unsustainably high rates. How is increasing rates on these premises going to fill them?

    In my local town there's 4 or 5 shops on the main street vacant for years and all owned by the same guy. If there was a vacancy levy or increasing levy on those premises you can be sure they'd have tenants.

    Currently a refund on rates paid can be applied for if the premises was empty, and from recent experience the only evidence the council ask for is has it been listed for rent/lease.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo


    In my local town there's 4 or 5 shops on the main street vacant for years and all owned by the same guy. If there was a vacancy levy or increasing levy on those premises you can be sure they'd have tenants.

    Currently a refund on rates paid can be applied for if the premises was empty, and from recent experience the only evidence the council ask for is has it been listed for rent/lease.
    There are a lot of towns with this problem. There have been lots of discussions about this issue on the media. And in every one I've heard, rates have been called out as a huge burden on retail outlets. Just out of interest, what's the reason (either given or imputed) for this guy not being able (or willing) to let his premises?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,725 ✭✭✭jam_mac_jam


    It would be a brilliant idea to do this. Never going to happen in Ireland though. There should also be a tax on unused land that is zoned for housing.

    It would immediately increase the amount of supply. It would also cause rents to be dropped as there would be an incentive for the landlord to rent.

    But the its my house, how dare you tell me what to do with it will be along.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭Salary Negotiator


    prawnsambo wrote: »
    There are a lot of towns with this problem. There have been lots of discussions about this issue on the media. And in every one I've heard, rates have been called out as a huge burden on retail outlets. Just out of interest, what's the reason (either given or imputed) for this guy not being able (or willing) to let his premises?

    What I’ve heard is he’s purposely trying to run down the street to buy up additional units.

    A close family member owns a commercial unit on the same continuous street (different name and about 500m further from the town centre) and it was leased for 5 years recently less than a month after it became available.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo


    What I’ve heard is he’s purposely trying to run down the street to buy up additional units.

    A close family member owns a commercial unit on the same continuous street (different name and about 500m further from the town centre) and it was leased for 5 years recently less than a month after it became available.
    I don't doubt you. But I would think that's a pretty unusual situation. The guy must have plenty of money that he can afford to leave that many units lie dormant for years without earning a penny and probably costing a fair bit.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,188 ✭✭✭Good loser


    prawnsambo wrote: »
    I don't doubt you. But I would think that's a pretty unusual situation. The guy must have plenty of money that he can afford to leave that many units lie dormant for years without earning a penny and probably costing a fair bit.

    I agree.

    Doesn't seem a credible approach to me. Certainly would not make economic sense.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,177 ✭✭✭✭Geuze


    prawnsambo wrote: »
    Many of the problems with empty retail premises are caused by unsustainably high rates. How is increasing rates on these premises going to fill them?


    I think rents are a more serious problem / cost.

    Prime retail rents in Galway city are higher than Edinburgh, Manchester, etc.

    A city of 80,000 has higher retail rents than cities of 1m+


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭Subcomandante Marcos


    prawnsambo wrote: »
    Many of the problems with empty retail premises are caused by unsustainably high rates. How is increasing rates on these premises going to fill them?

    Absolute bollocks.

    Upward only rates increases never forced long sitting tennants out of commercial properties.

    Landlords Willing to let units sit idle as a medium term investment on the land rather than let it be productive here and now on the other hand has killed businesses across the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,177 ✭✭✭✭Geuze


    prawnsambo wrote: »
    Many of the problems with empty retail premises are caused by unsustainably high rates. How is increasing rates on these premises going to fill them?

    Rents are the problem, not rates.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,426 ✭✭✭ressem


    Upward only rates increases never forced long sitting tennants out of commercial properties.

    Landlords Willing to let units sit idle as a medium term investment on the land rather than let it be productive here and now on the other hand has killed businesses across the country.
    Section 14 of the Local Government Act, 1946 provides that in the case of a vacant property a Ratepayer may be entitled to a refund of 1/12th of the rates paid for every full month of vacancy, provided certain criteria were met i.e. the property is vacant on the date the rate is made and is available for letting or is vacant for repairs/alterations. In effect no rates were payable on a vacant property which was unoccupied for a full year where the foregoing criteria were met.

    Local authorities can decrease this refund level across the board.
    Do they use this ability, or do speculators sitting on empty properties for a generation (including many formerly state used properties) get a freebie.

    Geuze wrote: »
    Rents are the problem, not rates.
    In many parts of the country, commercial rates would count for 2-3% of property valuation a year. If rates weren't refundable on the vacant commercial property, it'd be much higher than the 1.25% Vancouver empty homes tax from the OP.

    Should any property (commercial or residential ) that is vacant for 2 years be placed in a new class of "speculative commercial" and have rates charged at the full un-discounted whack.

    Many of the commercial properties in our towns were originally built as residences, fairly prestigious ones. Seeing a street of them rot for lack of footfall that will never return is dispiriting. Are the owners waiting for a fairytale pension fund to buy them out?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,198 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious



    But the its my house, how dare you tell me what to do with it will be along.

    Where were they when that prick Hogan came along back in the day to reduce everyone to being a tenant in their own home? On the couch with their feet cocked up when they should have been out rioting

    If they didn't riot that time, they'll never riot so I wouldn't worry about them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,188 ✭✭✭Good loser


    Where were they when that prick Hogan came along back in the day to reduce everyone to being a tenant in their own home? On the couch with their feet cocked up when they should have been out rioting

    If they didn't riot that time, they'll never riot so I wouldn't worry about them.


    What are you on about?


    Is it that you are against LPT? An Irish socialist?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,564 ✭✭✭✭elperello


    Good loser wrote: »
    What are you on about?


    Is it that you are against LPT? An Irish socialist?

    LPT rears it's ugly head around this time of year.

    A lot of people still resent paying it and haven't figured a way to offset it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,188 ✭✭✭Good loser


    elperello wrote: »
    LPT rears it's ugly head around this time of year.

    A lot of people still resent paying it and haven't figured a way to offset it.


    In Washington State I believe it's 1% of the value of your house - per annum!


    That would be 3,000 on a 300,000 house.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,564 ✭✭✭✭elperello


    Good loser wrote: »
    In Washington State I believe it's 1% of the value of your house - per annum!


    That would be 3,000 on a 300,000 house.

    Washington State is a lovely place to visit.
    Glad I don't live there.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,198 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious


    Where were they when that prick Hogan came along back in the day to reduce everyone to being a tenant in their own home? On the couch with their feet cocked up when they should have been out rioting

    If they didn't riot that time, they'll never riot so I wouldn't worry about them.


    Yes against it but only making the point that if people didn't get up off their arses to prevent being taxed for living in their own house they won't be too bothered about being taxed for one they don't look at from one end of the year to the next


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,220 ✭✭✭✭NIMAN


    It could, but it won't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,188 ✭✭✭Good loser


    Yes against it but only making the point that if people didn't get up off their arses to prevent being taxed for living in their own house they won't be too bothered about being taxed for one they don't look at from one end of the year to the next

    Taxes are involuntary impositions. 'Preventing' taxes is not normally a runner - excluding water charges!


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,841 ✭✭✭✭BorneTobyWilde


    Too many people in the world, and too many of them are ending up on this tiny island. 100,000 immigrants a year on going recently.
    3.5m people in Ireland 1990, 5m 2019 / Where do you put 1.5 extra people. It's not sustainable, if you build 20,000 houses this year there will be another 100,000 people next year in country, so how can you ever win, it will only get worse.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,370 ✭✭✭✭kowloon


    Too many people in the world, and too many of them are ending up on this tiny island. 100,000 immigrants a year on going recently.
    3.5m people in Ireland 1990, 5m 2019 / Where do you put 1.5 extra people. It's not sustainable, if you build 20,000 houses this year there will be another 100,000 people next year in country, so how can you ever win, it will only get worse.

    We have one of the lowest population densities in Europe and are below the average for everywhere else, which includes the likes of Greenland, The Falklands, and Australia. If most of the planet can manage it I'm sure we can too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,198 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious


    Good loser wrote: »
    Taxes are involuntary impositions. 'Preventing' taxes is not normally a runner - excluding water charges!

    There is always a means of getting rid of it or stopping it from being brought in but people didn't bother.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,354 ✭✭✭BluePlanet


    Too many people in the world, and too many of them are ending up on this tiny island. 100,000 immigrants a year on going recently.
    3.5m people in Ireland 1990, 5m 2019 / Where do you put 1.5 extra people. It's not sustainable, if you build 20,000 houses this year there will be another 100,000 people next year in country, so how can you ever win, it will only get worse.
    Did you know that the population of Ireland in the early part of the 1800's was around 8 million?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,745 ✭✭✭Irish Praetorian


    BluePlanet wrote: »
    Did you know that the population of Ireland in the early part of the 1800's was around 8 million?

    Thats an important point but do cross reference it with two important facts; firstly that figure includes the north and secondly the peak figure in the 1841 census is thought to be around 9 million, with some measure of undercounting in certain areas.

    Now the corollary to this is how many people would accept the housing standards of majority of the 19th century population, to which the answer is I suspect, not many.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,564 ✭✭✭✭elperello


    Thats an important point but do cross reference it with two important facts; firstly that figure includes the north and secondly the peak figure in the 1841 census is thought to be around 9 million, with some measure of undercounting in certain areas.

    Now the corollary to this is how many people would accept the housing standards of majority of the 19th century population, to which the answer is I suspect, not many.

    As someone who has had the dubious distinction of standing in the houses where both sides of my forebears families had to reside in the 19th century I can confirm your suspicion.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,745 ✭✭✭Irish Praetorian


    elperello wrote: »
    As someone who has had the dubious distinction of standing in the houses where both sides of my forebears families had to reside in the 19th century I can confirm your suspicion.

    Did you also have an Englishman wearing a top hat peering in periodically and tutting?


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