B.C. extends reach of tax aimed at turning empty houses into rental homes
British Columbia is expanding the tax it created to clamp down on real estate speculation and ensure homes in rental-strapped communities don’t sit empty.
A statement from the Ministry of Finance says the speculation and vacancy tax now includes the municipalities of North Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Lions Bay and Squamish.
Starting early next year, homeowners in those areas will join owners in 40 other B.C. cities, districts and towns who are required to declare how their property was used in 2023.
The statement says 99 per cent of people who live in B.C., can expect to be exempt for the 2023 tax year, but homeowners in the new municipalities, along with those already covered by the tax, must make formal declarations each year.
Failure to make an accurate declaration can lead to a penalty amounting to between half a per cent and two per cent of the property’s total value, depending on whether the claimant is a Canadian citizen or a foreign owner.
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