Amid housing crisis, California cities look to target vacant homes with taxes

BERKELEY, Calif. (CN) — The city of Berkeley joins a growing list of California cities planning to ask voters whether property owners with vacant homes should be taxed to relieve unprecedented pressure on the housing market.

San Francisco, Napa, Santa Cruz and other cities all rank high in desirability and median rent rates, and are moving forward with vacancy tax measures to address a worsening housing availability crisis. Voters this November will weigh claims the strategy will free up revenue to create more affordable housing and push more units onto the strained market amid widespread home bidding wars. 

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