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July 11, 2019 04:23 pm PDT

Chinese oligarch sues city of Vancouver over $200,000 "Empty Homes Tax"

In recent years, Chinese oligarchs have been buying up vast swaths of Vancouver real estate as a way to park their money. They often don't set foot in the luxury townhouses they buy, which has led the Vancouver city government to issue a 1% Empty Homes Tax. A Chinese woman named He Yiju, who is married to a "top politician in China's rubber-stamp parliament" according to CNN, owns a $200 $20 million waterfront mansion and is suing the city to avoid paying the $200,000 tax bill.

She and her husband have a combined net worth of $925 million according to Forbes. $200,000 to someone with a net worth of $925 million is equivalent to $210 to someone with a net worth of $1 million.

From CNN:

In 2018, Vancouver's government ruled that He was subject to Vancouver's Empty Homes Tax, which requires owners of unoccupied homes to pay a 1% levy on their properties' value.

He [Yiju] denies, however, that the property was empty. In a petition filed last month to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, her legal team argued that the lot was being prepared for renovations pending the city issuing redevelopment permits.

He's attorney, Joel Nitikman, declined to comment when asked by CNN about the case.

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