The speculation and vacancy tax is a key measure in tackling the housing crisis in major urban centres in British Columbia, where home prices and rents have skyrocketed out of reach for many British Columbians.
The provincial government is taking action because people who live and work in B.C. deserve an affordable place to call home. This new annual tax is designed to:
- Target foreign and domestic speculators who own residences in B.C. but don’t pay taxes here
- Turn empty homes into good housing for people
- Raise revenue that will directly support affordable housing
The tax applies to residential properties in Capital Regional District (Victoria), Metro Vancouver Regional District excluding Bowen Island, Village of Lions Bay but including the University Endowment Lands and UBC, City of Abbotsford, District of Mission, City of Chilliwack, City of Kelowna and West Kelowna, City of Nanaimo and District of Lantzville
The tax will 0.5% for 2018 and 0.5 for Residents of British Columbia and Canadian Citizens and 2% for Foreign Nationals in 2019 and going forward from there.
All residential property owners on title in designated taxable regions of B.C will have to complete an annual declaration for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax to claim any relevant exemptions. Where there are multiple owners of a home, a declaration must be completed by each owner.
For more information and exemptions see the link below:
Vancouver Empty Homes Tax
- The City of Vancouver Empty Home Tax "EHT" became effective January 1, 2017. The Empty Home Tax is applied annually with the first taxation year beginning January 1, 2017. The tax for 2017 was payable by April 2018. The tax rate is 1% of the assessed value based on the assessment in the year the tax is paid. For 2019 the tax if applicable will be due by April 12, 2019.
- The EHT does not apply to a home used as a principal residence or is subject to a long term tenancy agreement of at least 180 days accrued in a calendar year with a minimum of 30 day terms for the tenancies.
- There are various exemptions for the EHT for situations such as major renovations, major illness, death of the owner, ownership of the property changed curing the previous year, strata rental restrictions that were in place prior to November 16, 2016, homes used for work orders, homes subject to a court order. Explanations for these can be found on the City of Vancouver website https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/will-your-home-be-taxed.aspx