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)

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

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

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

Traffic change in Trail on Wednesday

Workers are performing a required inspection of the Victoria Street Bridge lighting

Free public transit for Greater Trail seniors on Thursday

The no-charge day is to recognize National Senior’s Day

Semi overturns along Highway 22 in Rossland

The 40-year-old female driver was uninjured from the accident

Golden Bear Children’s Centre in Rossland secures five-year lease

The centre’s monthly lease will rise to $1000 by 2023

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Most Read