B.C. releases eased speculation tax
October 26, 2018
The B.C. government is forging ahead with its controversial speculation tax on vacant homes, but it has made some concessions to blunt its impact.
Known as Bill 45, it now provides exemptions for British Columbians going through traumatic life events such as illness, divorce or separation. It also allows exemptions for owners of properties that are being developed or undergoing long-term renovations.
And it exempts strata units from a vacancy tax for 2018 and 2019, where strata restrictions prohibit rentals. Further clarity is needed on this exemption and related implications.
Bill 45 lowers the tax rate from 1 per cent to 0.5 per cent for Canadians who live outside of B.C. and have a second home they leave vacant.
The remaining tax rates will be 0.5 per cent of assessed value for B.C. residents and 2.0 per cent for foreign residents.
This tax will apply to those who own multiple properties in Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.
Owners are exempt if they rent their properties out for at least six months a year. There is also a tax credit for B.C. residents with second homes valued under $400,000.