Empty Home Tax UPDATE!

Check out our latest campaign updates and find out how you can take action to build a Santa Cruz that works for all of us! Read more…

Empty Home Tax in the News!

Empty Home Tax Aims to Generate Funds for Low-Income Housing in Santa Cruz

By Aiyana Moya
Posted on November 16, 2021

On a sunny Saturday in October, about 60 people crowded onto benches and stood around Shanty Shack Brewery’s courtyard listening to Santa Cruz City Councilman Justin Cummings talk about taxing empty houses to generate revenue for low-income housing. 


Cummings was one of the speakers who took the stage to talk about the Empty Home Tax campaign that launched that day, Oct. 16. UCSC Professor Camilla Hawthorne, Santa Cruz City Councilwoman Sandy Brown and campaign volunteer Cyndi Dawson also spoke about the measure that will likely be on the ballot in 2022 for Santa Cruz voters. Read more…

Campaign launches for Santa Cruz empty homes tax

By Ryan Stuart | rstuart@santacruzsentinel.com | Santa Cruz Sentinel October 24, 2021 at 3:38 p.m.

SANTA CRUZ – Community members in Santa Cruz are working to introduce an empty homes tax to voters in 2022.


The tax aims to create a way to increase the amount of affordable housing available in Santa Cruz. It will do so by using tax revenue to build a fund dedicated to the development of affordable housing within the city.


The community group, Yes on the Empty Home Tax, expects the proposed tax to raise millions of dollars each year for the city’s affordable housing budget, according to Cyndi Dawson, a campaign volunteer.


Parcels with six or less units will pay a $6,000 fee if all units on the parcel are empty. If a parcel has seven or more units, then each empty unit is taxed separately at $3,000 per empty unit.

Read the full article…

Hearts full for an empty homes tax: Santa Cruz set to follow path of other ‘second home’ destinations

By Grace Stetson | Lookout Santa Cruz | OCT 14, 2021 | 2:21 PM

As the city of Santa Cruz deals with continued issues of both housing affordability and limited housing stock, some locals believe they’ve found an answer: taxing homeowners whose properties are “in use” less than 120 days per year. Read the full article…

Empty Home Tax Campaign News

Take our Community Survey Now

As a community-rooted campaign, your perspective and vision are vital drivers of the Empty Home Tax. We’ve created this community survey as a way to receive your wisdom and let it lead the way for the campaign. We’d be honored if you take a few moments to share your thoughts and guide this important work.

Join our Community Mapping Project

Community Mapping is all about involving residents in using their knowledge to help create a picture of what our neighborhoods look like. We want to engage with you and encourage you to walk the streets, get to know your neighbors and help us all understand the conditions on the ground right now in Santa Cruz. Follow the link below. Set up a free account and get mapping. All the details are in the app!

Get all your Questions Answered on our FAQs Page

Visit our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page for our most commonly asked questions. If you still have questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@emptyhometax.org. We would love to hear from you. We want to be as transparent and open about our initiative.