Money: B.C. speculation tax figures show foreign owners hardest hit as expected take soars - PressFrom - Canada
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MoneyB.C. speculation tax figures show foreign owners hardest hit as expected take soars

13:26  12 july  2019
13:26  12 july  2019 Source:   vancouversun.com

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VICTORIA — Most of the homeowners paying B . C .’s new speculation tax are from other countries or provinces, but almost 20 per cent of those hit so far are also British Columbians with second homes, according to new provincial data.

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B.C. speculation tax figures show foreign owners hardest hit as expected take soars© CHAD HIPOLITO Finance Minister Carole James, backed by Premier John Horgan, announced last year that the province would be introducing a property speculation and vacancy tax.

VICTORIA — The B.C. government is earning more money than expected from its new speculation tax, even though fewer B.C. homeowners are getting hit with the fee, new figures show.

The tax brought in $115 million from 12,029 homeowners during a 15-month period in the 2018-19 fiscal year that ended March 31.

That’s higher than the $87 million projected, and the figure could rise because about 23,000 homeowners did not return declaration or exemption forms by the July 2 deadline.

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On Monday, the provincial government announced it is making some changes to the speculation tax , which was first announced last month as part of the budget. The government expects to introduce legislation in the fall to make the tax part of law and they say 99 per cent of British Columbians will be

Speculation and Vacancy Tax . All property owners should have received their declaration letter. The provincial government is taking action because people who live and work in B . C . deserve an By levying the highest tax rate on foreign owners and satellite families (those who earn a majority of

“I’ve said all along it’s important we take a look at the tax and the impact on communities and the impact on affordable housing and housing for people in the province,” Finance Minister Carole James said Thursday. “That’s the reason the tax is there. It’s not put in place to bring in huge resources for government.”

James attributed the extra revenue to high real estate values — the speculation tax ranges from 0.5 per cent to 2.0 per cent on the assessed value of the property — and three extra months in the first reporting year of data.

Also, the homes hit by the tax were on average 46 per cent more expensive than those exempted, suggesting some expensive luxury homes and mega-mansions were among those taxed.

James said she expects the tax to bring in around $200 million a year, which is in line with long-term projections.

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Communities affected by the revised B . C . speculation tax are shown in purple, including Metro The tax , first announced in the Feb. 20 budget, was initially billed as targeting foreign speculators and The tax at first appeared to be a way to entice owners of second properties to put them into the rental

The tax will apply to non-resident B . C ., Canadian and foreign owners of residences in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and regional districts in Nanaimo and Victoria, along with Kelowna. Tom Davidoff spoke with On the Island host Gregor Craigie about the reaction and the problem of what he

Government had originally projected 32,000 homes would have to pay the speculation tax, and of that 20,000 would be British Columbians who owned multiple properties, at least one of which sat vacant at least six months of the year.

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The hardest hit areas will be BC ’s hottest real estate markets including Vancouver, Kelowna The Speculation tax , which is a retroactive and punitive tax , applies to unoccupied residential properties 2% for foreign investors and satellite families. A satellite family is where a member of the family lives

The speculation tax has been criticized by mayors in Kelowna, Langford and West Kelowna for Former West Kelowna mayor Doug Findlater took to Twitter on Tuesday night to express concerns Foreign owners and satellite owners will pay 2 per cent on assessed value of a residential property.

But so far, only 2,410 of the 12,029 homeowners, or 20 per cent, have been B.C. residents with multiple properties.

James said she thinks more B.C. homeowners were more likely to rent their properties to avoid the tax.

“It shows we are getting to what we want to get to,” she said. “It’s a tax where if people aren’t paying the tax that’s a plus, because it means they are renting their places out and it means we have more housing to deal with the crisis.”

The speculation tax applies to Greater Victoria, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Kelowna and West Kelowna, Metro Vancouver (excluding Bowen Island, Lions Bay and Electoral A district), Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission. Homeowners can claim an exemption for properties rented at least six months of the year.

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Figuring the tax : Beginning with tax year 2006, a qualifying individual claiming the foreign earned income exclusion, the housing exclusion, or both, must figure the tax on the remaining non-excluded income using the tax rates that would have applied had the individual not claimed the exclusions.

The speculation tax was introduced to prevent housing speculation in B . C .'s overheated real estate market However, owners still must register to claim their exemption. It means that, of the 1.6 For 2019 and subsequent years, the tax rate is two per cent for foreign owners and satellite families, and

The government introduced the speculation tax in 2018 to crack down on foreign-owned properties left vacant during a rental and affordable housing crisis.

The figures show 38 per cent of homeowners paying so far are foreign residents. Another 27 per cent are satellite families, which B.C. defines as a household in which 50 per cent or more of the income comes from outside the country. Another 13 per cent have been Canadian residents of other provinces. And two per cent were properties owned by corporations, trusts or developers.

Government will need to release more details before researchers can draw too many conclusions, said Tom Davidoff, director of the University of B.C.’s Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate.

“There was a concern that people will just fake it or the tax is just not feasible or it will cost more to operate than it will raise, and we certainly see from this data that that’s not the case,” said Davidoff.

Liberal critic Tracy Redies said the fact government was so mistaken in its estimates reinforces that it overinflated the threat of speculators as a way to target B.C. residents with multiple properties. “This government has a desire to openly penalize people for being successful and having a second home,” said Redies.

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The B . C . Speculation Tax is unfair to all owners of non-primary residence homes in British Columbia and is unfair to the local communities these owners support. These home owners are not real estate speculators and legitimately own these homes for a variety of personal reasons unrelated to real

Bill 28, the Miscellaneous Statutes (Housing Priority Initiatives) Amendment Act, 2016, came into force on August 2, 2016. The law was introduced after calls urging the British Columbia provincial

James also announced Thursday she will meet mayors to discuss changes to the tax on Sept. 12. Langford, West Kelowna and Nanaimo have asked for exemptions because the tax is hurting property development. The village of Belcarra has asked for an exemption because most of its properties are only accessible by boat and are not rentable.

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