Estate sues city of Vancouver over delays in processing empty home tax

The estate of a Vancouver man is suing the city over what it considers unreasonable delays in processing an application for an exemption to the empty home tax.

Charles James Hyland, the owner of 3498 East 48th Ave., was living in the home until he was admitted to a long-term care facility in Burnaby in September 2016. He lived at the care facility at St. Michael’s Centre until he died on March 11, 2018.

In February 2018, while he was in the care facility, his friend Barbara Smith, the executrix of his estate, filed an empty homes tax declaration for the year 2017. Smith claimed an exemption from the tax for the calendar year of 2017 because Hyland was in the care facility for the entire year.

In the lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Smith says she received an inquiry from the city in September 2018 and completed a questionnaire provided by the city, as well as supporting documents for the exemption application.

She says she repeatedly called the city in October to confirm the property was exempt from the tax and was told that a tax officer would provide a response in six-to-eight weeks but has not yet received a response.

Smith sold the property in November for $1,688,000, with the net-sale proceeds being received in trust after completion. As a condition of completion, the purchaser’s notary required that $19,103 be retained in trust pending receipt of the City of Vancouver’s decision on the exemption application.

“The plaintiff wishes to proceed with the distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries, however the plaintiff is unable to do so until the holdback in the amount of $19,103 is released from trust as the holdback money is itself a part of the estate and should be paid to the beneficiaries,” says the suit. “The proceeds of …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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