ROB SHAW is in Victoria with breaking news on a new foreign purchaser tax in the Lower Mainland
VICTORIA – Foreign buyers of Metro Vancouver real estate will be taxed an additional 15 per cent, the government announced Monday in new legislation.
The tax would increase the property transfer tax on non-Canadian citizens purchasing homes. It would begin Aug. 2 and apply to all residential property in Metro Vancouver, excluding the Tsawwassen First Nation.
The government said the additional tax on a $2 million home in the Lower Mainland would amount to $300,000 on a foreign citizen.
The rules also apply to foreign-controlled corporations that are not incorporated in Canada or in which at least one beneficiary is a foreign entity.
The bill also gives the City of Vancouver power to implement a tax on vacant homes, which the city has argued could help increase the supply of rental housing by encouraging absentee owners to rent out their properties. Vancouver has said it needs a data-sharing agreement with the provincial government to make the tax work.
The bill also removes self-policing in the real estate industry.
The new housing legislation comes as the B.C. Liberal government wrestles with criticism it has been slow to act on the housing affordability crisis. Critics have called for government intervention to cool the market and keep home prices in reach of middle-class British Columbians. The government has resisted, saying it didn’t want to interfere and that the issue was primarily one of rising demand for a limited supply of homes. But as the May 2017 election looms on the horizon, both the Liberals and NDP are fighting for voter approval on their plans.
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Angela Calla Mortgage Team 604-802-3983 firstname.lastname@example.org