Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

Finance Minister Carole James and B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver announce compromise on speculation tax on empty homes, B.C. legislature, Oct. 18, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Owners of vacation properties captured by B.C.’s new empty-home tax will begin receiving letters this week telling them how they must declare they are exempt from the tax.

The deadline for registering to avoid the 0.5 per cent additional property tax is March 31, according to the finance ministry, which emphasizes that the pared-down tax will apply to fewer than one per cent of the property owners in the project.

All property owners in the affected areas should receive the letters by Feb. 28. They will have to register to avoid the tax by the deadline of March 31 or be billed on their property taxes for a vacant home. Registration can be done at a new website, www.gov.bc.ca/spectax or by phoning 1-833-554-2323. The registration process is expected to take up to 20 minutes, and those who are not exempted have until July 2 to pay the tax.

RELATED: NDP retreats again on B.C. empty home tax

RELATED: Weaver reminds Nanaimo voters he ‘fine tuned’ tax

After protests from urban municipalities and extended negotiations between the NDP government and the B.C. Green Party, the property tax now applies only to Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the municipalities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Kelowna and West Kelowna. The rate was reduced to 0.5 per cent for all Canadian owners at the insistence of B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver, who earlier objected to it being applied to vacation homes in the Gulf Islands.

Within those communities, identified as having low vacancy rates, owners of additional homes that are not their private residences can exempt themselves from the tax by renting it out at least six months of the year.

“By completing the declaration and registering to claim an exemption, British Columbians will help identify speculators and empty homes, allowing the government to crack down on speculation and make housing more affordable,” the ministry said in a statement released Tuesday.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislaturespeculation tax

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP bust five impaired drivers in one day in Terrace and Kitimat

Police were doing road checks as part of distracted driving, seatbelt enforcement campaign

Horgan makes campaign stop in Terrace and Kitimat

BC NDP leader met with local First Nations leaders, reiterated campaign promises

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

‘Monkey Beach’ supernatural film adaptation premiers at VIFF

Based on Kitamaat author Eden Robinson’s debut, mystical novel

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians not following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Most Read