Posts Tagged ‘vancouver housing’

BC Government’s Speculation Tax – Pain on the Way
Posted by Don Campbell | January 17, 2019
BC Government’s Speculation Tax – Pain on the Way

In BC, the NDP government’s answer to lack of rentals is a speculation tax. But here’s the rub, you will be charged the tax UNLESS you apply for an exemption AND they grant you that exemption.

By the way these notices will come in the mail to the property owners. And we all know how well mail works (see 2018’s referendum).

Is this another “Guilty Until You Prove Your Innocence” situation? Many are saying yes. It also seems to be an opportunity to build a large bureaucracy. It will be VERY interesting to see if the cost of collection eats up a large percentage of the tax, that was supposed to be used to fund affordable housing.

Please ensure your neighbours, your parents, your adult children and your friends are made aware to watch for the exemption letters. Here are some of the details:

#1 Jointly Owned With Your Spouse? Important, quite unnecessary rule in BC’s #speculationtax “”if the property is jointly owned, by SPOUSES or by anyone else, each owner has to apply for the exemption, or they will be taxed on a proportional basis.”  So YES, even if you have lived in the home, together for 20 years you BOTH must apply for the exemption separately

#2 This is NOT like the homeowner’s grant, where it is a simple signature.  This is a PROCESS, and includes 20 pages of information to read and decipher. (these notes are on the Ministry’s Website). The Ministry estimates that it will take a minimum of 20 minutes to complete the application

#3 PLEASE help others more vulnerable.  Sadly, this process will hurt the most vulnerable,, including seniors and those who English is their second language.  Make sure THEY now that they MUST apply for the exemption or the financial pain will be great.

#4 Renting To a Family Member to help them out?  And please be careful about helping out your family by renting a property to them.  You MAY not qualify for the exemption.  Make sure you read the regulations that clearly define what they are defining as “Arms-Length renters vs Non-Arms Length renters”

#5 Random Thought:  Wasn’t the act of “Negative-Option Billing” banned by the federal government many years before due to its abusive nature.  Isn’t this simply a negative option billing scheme?


Residents in communities like Nanaimo, Kelowna, Abbotsford and many more (not just targeted Vancouver) are automatically being charged the “Speculation Tax” unless they take the steps to apply and receive an exemption. A second level question: How will this speculation tax work for builders who have inventory?

Another good backgrounder, 



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