BCREA calls for more clarity on speculation tax

By Steve Randall

The proposed British Columbia speculation tax has been welcomed by the province’s real estate board but it wants more questions answered.

The BC finance minister gave more details of the scope of the tax Monday including defining the areas that would be included, and the exemptions that would apply.

The government says that less than 1% of British Columbians will pay the tax, which is aimed at speculative investors.

But the BC Real Estate Board says that it looks forward to more opportunities to limit the impact on homeowners.

“For example, homeowners in the City of Vancouver could potentially be charged twice for leaving their homes vacant: once by the city and once by the province. Communities could face economic problems, due to fewer visitors, less consumer spending and lower housing prices,” it said in a statement.

BCREA also raises the question of owners of development properties who may need to pass on additional costs to buyers, wherever they pay tax.

It also says that incentives should be offered for owners of vacant homes to add them to the rental market, rather than taxing them.

“BCREA urges the BC Government to undertake a formal, public consultation on the proposed speculation tax, to ensure the best input and insights are available, and to assure those affected that this measure is being carefully considered from all angles,” the statement released Tuesday concludes.


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