Category Archives: politics

The Tragedy of the $1.2 Million Dollar House

There’s an absolute injustice happening in our fair city. Honest home owners who by no fault of their own now find themselves in the position of owning a home that is assessed at more than a million dollars.  People who have struggled and strived to achieve home ownership only to have the $570 property tax grant torn from their weary hands!

A greedy government is intent on charging these poor home owners property taxes without giving any of it back! The province cruelly raised the cutoff from 1.1 to 1.2 million earlier this year, but what is that? Less than 10 percent! Some assessments are up more than 40 percent! What are these poor homeowners supposed to do- sell and cash in on a hugely inflated market?

Fortunately there are freedom fighters who are advocating for the downtrodden and calling for a rise in the cutoff for the homeowner grants.  Pray that they succeed, because you know if the government succeeds in it’s evil plan to retain this $570 home owner grant they’ll only waste the money on caviar, cigars and saving people from fentanyl overdoses.

Developers upset over surprise foreign buyer tax

Real Estate Developers are upset about the foreign buyer tax, arguing that the only real way to make homes more affordable is to increase supply.

Also it would be great if we could increase real estate affordability without lowering the price of anyones real estate.

A month before the tax was announced, Anne McMullin, president and CEO of UDI, e-mailed the Premier warning that any taxes aimed at curbing demand would not make Metro Vancouver more affordable without the stimulation of more supply. And, she added, increasing taxes might severely undermine the value of people’s homes “perhaps even destabilizing our industry, which represents 25 per cent of British Columbia’s economy,” she wrote.

Some experts point out that the foreign buyer market was already showing signs of ‘fatigue’ so the tax was completely unnecessary.

Experts cannot say whether this downturn in foreign owners will remain a long-term trend, but immediately after the Premier announced the tax on the morning of July 25, industry insiders were warning it could badly hurt one of the province’s most important economic drivers.

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.

Moving to Seattle

JustMe‘ posted this article from Bloomberg about wealthy buyers moving from Vancouver to Seattle after the foreign buyer tax was implemented.

“Just a few days after Vancouver announced a tax on foreign property investors, Seattle real estate broker Lili Shang received a WeChat message from a wealthy Chinese businessman who wanted to sell a home in Canada and buy in her area.

After a week of showings, he purchased a $1 million property in Bellevue, across Lake Washington from Seattle. He soon returned to buy two more, including a $2.2 million house in Clyde Hill paid for with a single cashier’s check.”

Read the full article here (warning autoplay video).

City proposes 3.4% property tax increase

You can probably handle paying an extra $49 bucks, but George Affleck points out that over the past 10 years the city budget has grown 30% while population has grown 9%.

The $1.32-billion draft 2017 budget was released late Wednesday afternoon. It includes a 3.4 per cent property tax increase and other increases for utility, recreation and permit fees.

The city says the increases will go towards greater costs for existing services that are in line with inflation and new expenditures in other areas like social housing, security and the arts.

According to the city, the property and utility fee increases will amount to an extra $49 in costs for a median homeowner in Vancouver.

Read the full article over at the CBC.

How do you tax an empty home?

The city of Vancouver has floated the idea of an ’empty home tax’ to help encourage the availability of rental supply.  Today is the last day they will take feedback online for this idea.

If you have ideas for or against an empty home tax now is the time to have your input. What should be taxed and what should be exempt?

Best Place on Meth points out a rather obvious loophole and asks how it would be dealt with. Will there be baseline expectations for what is or isn’t market rent?

What’s to stop these owners from listing it for rent at some outrageous price that nobody will pay and then claiming they did try to rent it out?

What do you think – is the idea of an empty home tax a good or bad approach to Vancouvers housing problems?