Speculation tax expanding to new communities to deliver more homes for people

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  • The Province is taking action to fight real estate speculation and turn
    more empty units into homes for people by expanding the speculation
    and vacancy tax to 13 new municipalities.

    “There is a housing crisis across the country and it is creating economic
    challenges, including people feeling pushed out of their communities and
    labour shortages,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance. “With so
    many people struggling to find secure housing, we have to keep taking
    action – we can’t afford to pull back. The speculation tax is one of the
    ways we can help increase affordable housing options for people and
    communities.”

    Expanding the speculation tax is part of B.C.’s Homes for People plan that
    includes actions to fight speculation, deliver more homes within reach for
    people, and speed up delivery of new homes.

    “There’s something wrong when people are buying up investment homes
    and keeping them empty while others are living in vehicles and can’t find
    housing,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Homes are meant to be
    lived in by people in our communities, not used for speculation. While
    some would cancel the speculation tax – giving a handout to speculators
    and turning homes back into empty condos – we know that people can’t
    afford that. We’re taking action to make more homes available for people
    throughout the province.”

    An independent review released in 2022 found that the tax had helped
    deliver more than 20,000 homes in Metro Vancouver alone. The report
    included recommendations that government consider taking a phased
    approach to expanding the speculation and vacancy tax to additional
    communities to build on the success of the measure and deliver more
    homes for people.

    The speculation and vacancy tax will be applied to the following municipal
    boundaries to help ensure more empty homes are made available for the
    people who work and live there:

    • Vernon, Coldstream;
    • Penticton, Summerland;
    • Lake Country, Peachland;
    • Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland;
    • Parksville, Qualicum Beach;
    • Salmon Arm; and
    • Kamloops.
    Residential property owners in these communities will need to declare for
    the first time in January 2025 based on how they used their property in
    2024.

    This gives owners in the new areas time to decide how to meet
    exemption requirements before the tax takes effect. Exemptions include
    primary residences, properties with a long-term tenant and life events,
    such as separation or divorce.

    More than 99% of people living in B.C. are exempt from paying the tax.
    (news.gov.bc.ca

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