It’s time to declare for the B.C. speculation and vacancy tax
Many homeowners in B.C. cities — notably in the Lower Mainland, eastern Fraser Valley, Kelowna and southern Vancouver Island — will be getting declaration forms in the mail soon for the provincial speculation and vacancy tax.
The tax, introduced in 2018 by former premier John Horgan’s NDP government, applies to homes in communities where housing is in high demand.
The program expanded in January to more communities experiencing acute housing shortages, including North Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Lions Bay and Squamish. But those areas won’t need to declare until the 2024 tax year.
Anyone who uses a home as a primary residence or rents it out to long-term tenants doesn’t have to pay the tax, and there are a number of other exemptions.
The rate is 0.5 per cent for permanent residents of B.C. and two per cent for foreign owners or members of a “satellite family” — that is, someone who earns most of their reportable income outside Canada.
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