It looks like the city is serious about the empty home tax, at least one commenter here has received notice of an audit.
Well it seems the City is following up on the declarations made for its Empty Home Tax.
We were just notified that we are being audited for declaring our home as occupied as a principal residence. Interesting, since we’ve been in the same location for many years, and there are many empty homes in our area. You’d think the City would look at the homes that have changed hands more recently, since these are the ones that are left empty!
We may be running out of land, but apparently the old expo lands aren’t. The city has had tentative rights to 6 vacant lots intended for affordable housing for almost 3 decades:
Veteran architect and planner Michael Geller said it is “outrageous” that these sites haven’t been developed, but he believes talks could now be rekindled — even if the levels of government come up with a different plan for who might live in these future buildings, such as a mix of social, low-income, rental and affordable ownership. Some type of solution is required, he argued, if people are going to believe the affordable housing promises made for future developments in the city.
“When Northeast False Creek came up, I did say: Look, it’s great to promise all this affordable housing, but let’s not forget we still have these six sites undeveloped in the north shore of False Creek,’” said Geller, who was involved in the Coal Harbour development at the time.
Read the full article here.
People who own more than one home are worried about the new speculation tax:
From a Vancouver Island resident with a condo in Vancouver: “If the proposed speculation tax proceeds as you describe, the two-per-cent tax will far exceed the B.C. income tax that we normally pay. We will have no choice but to sell our Vancouver condo. We’re not speculators. We simply wanted to enjoy a few days a month in the city we used to live in, in the comfort of our own condo.”
On the problem for seniors with recreational properties that have been in the family for years: “If they pay zero income tax because their annual income is low enough to warrant no tax — i.e. married couple making around $25,000 or so — they’d never recover the amount.”
From someone with a place on Saturna: “They call it a speculation tax, but it seems more like an empty home tax. The government claims that taxing homes which remain empty most of the year will help deal with the housing shortage. If that is the case, why isn’t Whistler included? The prices are skyrocketing and there is a real housing shortage for workers. On the other hand, they include a Gulf Island like Saturna, where there isn’t a housing shortage and housing prices haven’t risen in more than eight years.”
On the perverse incentives of a tax vis-a-vis longtime residents versus actual speculators: “If you speculate and sell the property quickly, you pay the tax once, while those keeping property for years pay years of tax. The short-term speculators win!”
Read the full article here.
The word ‘Affordable’ is subjective, what seems like a good deal to some is outrageous to others.
So to clear up the debate the city has put some numbers to the word ‘affordable’ in their guidelines for rentals built under a city incentive program:
$1750 for a 1 bedroom apartment
$2505 for a 2 bedroom apartment
Does that match up with your expectations for the term affordable?
Yvr2zrh shared this comment:
Wow. Quite a lot of negatives for real estate values.
1.) If you live outside Vancouver and keep an apartment empty there, you now have a very punitive tax. Total will be 3% by 2019 (only 0.5% provincial in 2018 as a bit of a leeway to allow people to sell).
2.) FBT @20% – pretty good. Big tax – starts immediately. Wow . More people will get caught again. Deals will die. Also if property is over $3M – this will make it 25% for a foreigner to buy a Van West house. Then they have to pay 3% per year ($90K?) to leave it empty. Game over.
3.) The 2% spec tax – Strange name – it’s more of an absentee owner / empty home tax. It’s pretty sizeable. It’s going to be strange but somehow I think they are going to force it onto certain “principal residences” i.e. students, 10-Year visa people – who don’t qualify for really being a resident. Then – if they really pay tax in BC there is a tax credit. Good system.
4.) Full reporting of pre-sale transactions for tax purposes. I suppose that may help but you need to require a tax withholding for non-residents because otherwise – they just won’t pay.
5.) Unveiling all the hidden ownership – starting with collecting on new transactions and forcing existing transactions to be unveiled.
So – I would say that “Housing for Housing” has been supported and properties for non-residents etc – – that will be tough. What about all the Okanagan properties owned by Albertans – – It’s going to be interesting to see how many people bail!!!