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

Dr. Silvina Mema: Canada is the land of opportunity

She is a medical health officer with Interior Health

Campaign promotes Syilx/Okanagan language and culture

To support initiative, Nsylixcen t-shirts and water bottles are being distributed across Okanagan

Casinos butt heads over table games at Kelowna council meeting

Chances will soon offer table games, despite opposition from Playtime Casino

District of Lake Country receives financial reporting award

This is the fifth consecutive year that the district has received the award

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

COLUMN: Extending Employment Insurance sickness benefits

One of the challenges, with so many different events occurring in Ottawa,… Continue reading

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Volunteers share amazing memories of Vancouver Olympic games

A decade ago this month, Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. Approximately… Continue reading

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Most Read