B.C. Supreme Court judge quashes empty-home tax on $26.9-million Vancouver house

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      The owner of a five-bedroom, six-bathroom mansion on Belmont Avenue has managed to avoid a $249,313.67 tax bill—for now.

      That's because B.C. Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick overturned an April ruling by the Vacancy Tax Review Panel that Yi Ju He would have to pay the city's empty-home tax.

      Instead, the matter has been remitted back to a vacancy tax review officer for a new determination.

      B.C. Assessment valued the property at $26.8 million on July 1.

      He bought the house in October 2015 and was redeveloping the property when the tax was imposed for 2017.

      Fitzpatrick's December 24 decision stated that the city has acknowledged that a vacancy tax review officer and the review panel's decision "did not meet the requirements of procedural fairness".

      "The Review Panel did not advise Ms. He of the input from other City officials on the permitting process, despite the Review Panel later considering these communications as part of its review of the Determination arising from Ms. He’s complaint," Fitzpatrick wrote. "The Review Panel did not afford Ms. He any opportunity to respond."

      The City of Vancouver introduced its one percent annual tax on vacant homes in 2017. It's scheduled to increase to 1.25 percent next year.

      The City of Vancouver posted this video on YouTube in 2018 about the empty homes tax.

      Update

      Ian Young of the South China Morning Post reported on December 31 that Yi Ju He's husband is billionaire Chinese parliamentarian Zheng Jianjiang.

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