B.C. speculation tax changed to exempt Gulf Islands properties
The changes include limiting the geographic areas of the tax to Nanaimo and Greater Victoria, exempting Parksville, Qualicum Beach, the Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca areas that had originally fallen under the regional districts in both areas that were to be subject to the new tax.
Metro Vancouver’s scope is tightened too, with the original Fraser Valley location being reduced to Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, meaning Kent, Hope and Harrison Hot Springs are now exempt. Bowen Island is also exempt. Whistler, which is suffering a rental crisis, was not included in the tax. However, the municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna remain part of the tax, despite a request to government to be exempted.
“Over 99 per cent of British Columbians will not pay the tax,” said James. “Only those who hold multiple properties and leave them empty in our province’s major cities will be asked to contribute.
“People with cottages at the lake, or cabins, or on the islands, will not pay this tax. People with second homes outside of high cost urban areas will not pay the tax. We’re going after those who are clearly taking advantage of the market and driving up prices. We’re ensuring housing stock in our major cities is available for people who work hard and live in those cities.”