Over 12,000 homeowners to pay for BC's speculation and vacancy tax

Jul 12 2019, 4:36 am

British Columbia’s Ministry of Finance has released updated data for this year’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT).

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As of July 4, 2019, 12,029 homeowners will be paying the SVT. Foreign owners, satellite families, and Canadians living outside of British Columbia make up the brunt (80%) of those paying that tax.

The ministry also notes that homes captured by the tax are 46% more expensive than homes exempt from the SVT.

The exact breakdown of the 12,0290 is as follows:

  • 4,585 foreign owners
  • 3,241 satellite families
  • 1,555 Canadians living outside of BC
  • 2,410 BC residents
  • 238 others (properties held through corporations and trusts)

As a whole, more than 99.8% of British Columbians are exempt. The vacant homes tax is expected to contribute more than $115 million to homes for people.

“The speculation and vacancy tax was designed to make sure foreign owners, satellite families, and people who use local services without paying income tax in BC contribute to the quality of life we all enjoy in this province,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance in a news release.

Revenue raised from the SVT will go towards supporting affordable housing initiatives in communities where the tax applies.

Homes are officially “vacant” if left unoccupied for six months or more within a calendar year.

In early 2019, James will meet with mayors from municipalities where the tax is applied, in order to share data and analysis from the SVT.

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