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British Columbia real-estate and foreign buyer taxes


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#21 Mike K.

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 07:43 PM

This won't affect the rich at all. They'll happily pay the tax. Who this will affect are people who have worked hard over the years, saved up their money, bought a home in Vancouver and another in a sun destination, or God forbid they spend their retirement in three different places throughout the year.

 

I have a family member who does just this. He spends his time equally between three places.


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#22 MarkoJ

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 09:20 PM

Any word on how much the tax might be?


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#23 todd

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 09:41 PM

I'm just putting it out there that I'm available to house sit for anyone's mansion(4 million assessed value minimum), I offer competitive rates. Private message me for details. 


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#24 spanky123

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 04:45 AM

I guess if the City wanted to implement the tax easily, they could just tax everyone and then let homeowners/residents apply for a discount (like we do for the homeowner grant).



#25 spanky123

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:17 AM

According to Les Leyne today in the TC (can't paste), your vacation property at Shawnigan or Parksville may now also fall under the proposed vacancy tax if you only use it a few times a year.

 

The good news is that both the Province and thee City want each other to administer the tax due to costs and overhead which likely means we will never see it.



#26 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:34 AM

Vancouver wants it.

The province will go out of their way to allow it.

But nobody has suggested yet what the dollar amount will be?
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#27 nagel

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:28 AM

According to Les Leyne today in the TC (can't paste), your vacation property at Shawnigan or Parksville may now also fall under the proposed vacancy tax if you only use it a few times a year.

 

The good news is that both the Province and thee City want each other to administer the tax due to costs and overhead which likely means we will never see it.

It doesn't cost a lot to run a tax, provided that it's actually logically implemented.  The interesting details on this one are clearly still to come.  Will it be utility usage, snitching, or something else that captures people?



#28 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:30 AM

It doesn't cost a lot to run a tax, provided that it's actually logically implemented.  The interesting details on this one are clearly still to come.  Will it be utility usage, snitching, or something else that captures people?

 

I'm guessing it'll just be a surcharge on top of the regular property tax.  Rather than a flat per month or per year rate.


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#29 spanky123

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:36 AM

^^ It can cost a lot to administer depending on how it is implemented. How many people would the City have to hire just to validate occupancy claims?



#30 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:49 AM

The mill rate in Vancouver is $3.16567.

 

So a $2M home pays about $6300 per year.    I'll guess most of the vacant homes are worth at least $2M.

 

So if you add a tax of an extra 50% - so $3150 per year - if you hire a guy that nails down 10 of these a week, you are being pretty efficient.  That brings in an extra $31.5M for the municipality, based on 10,000 vacant home estimated.

 

Is this METRO Vancouver, or what municipalities does it cover?

 

EDIT:  Oh here is the boundaries in simplified form...

 

http://www.bclaws.ca...1.xml#section6.

 

Commencing at a point in the First Narrows of Burrard Inlet, which point is eight hundred (800) feet distant northerly, measured along a line astronomically north from the light in Prospect Point Lighthouse; thence south-easterly in a straight line to a point in Burrard Inlet on the production northerly of the boundary between District Lot Five hundred and forty-one (541) and District Lot One hundred and eighty-five (185), which point is situate at the intersection of the said production with the straight line from the light in Brockton Point Lighthouse to a point in the Second Narrows of Burrard Inlet distant five hundred (500) feet northerly, measured along the production northerly of the easterly boundary of the Town of Hastings from a boundary survey monument set at or near the high-water mark for the southerly shore of Burrard Inlet and on the said easterly boundary of the Town of Hastings; thence easterly along the aforedescribed straight line to the aforesaid point on the production northerly of the easterly boundary of the Town of Hastings; thence southerly, following in succession along the said production northerly of the easterly boundary of the Town of Hastings, the said easterly boundary of the Town of Hastings, the easterly boundary of District Lot Thirty-six (36), the easterly boundary of District Lot Forty-nine (49), the easterly boundary of District Lot Three hundred and thirty-nine (339), the easterly boundary of District Lot Three hundred and thirty-five (335), the easterly boundary of District Lot Three hundred and thirty-one (331), and along the production southerly of the said easterly boundary of District Lot Three hundred and thirty-one (331) to intersection of the same with a line drawn parallel to and two hundred (200) feet perpendicularly distant southerly from low-water mark of the north bank of the North Arm of Fraser River; thence in a general westerly direction, following the said line drawn parallel to and two hundred (200) feet perpendicularly distant southerly from low-water mark of the north bank of the North Arm of Fraser River to intersection of the same with the production southerly of the westerly boundary of District Lot Three hundred and eleven (311); thence southerly along the said westerly boundary of District Lot Three hundred and eleven (311) thus produced to the centre line of the North Arm of Fraser River; thence in a general westerly direction, following the said centre line and continuing along the centre line of the channel of navigation of the North Fork of the North Arm of Fraser River, passing to the north of Sea Island, Richmond Island, Christopher Wood's Island (D.L. 309), Iona Island (D.L. 236), and to the south of Cowan Island (D.L. 307), Stewart Island (D.L. 308), and Doering Island (D.L. 306), to intersection of the said centre line of the channel of navigation with the production southerly of the easterly boundary of Musqueam Indian Reserve Number Two (2); thence northerly along the said easterly boundary thus produced to intersection of the same with a line drawn parallel to and five hundred (500) feet perpendicularly distant southerly from the south-westerly boundary of the said Indian reserve; thence in a general north-westerly direction, following the said line drawn parallel to and five hundred (500) feet perpendicularly distant southerly from the south-westerly boundary of the said Indian reserve to the intersection of the same with the production southerly of the most westerly boundary of the said Indian reserve; thence northerly along the said westerly boundary thus produced and along the said westerly boundary to the north-westerly corner of the said Indian reserve; thence easterly, northerly, and easterly, following in succession along the northerly boundary of the said Indian reserve to intersection of the same with a line drawn parallel to and thirty-three (33) feet perpendicularly distant westerly from the westerly boundary of District Lot Three hundred and twenty (320); thence northerly, parallel to and thirty-three (33) feet perpendicularly distant westerly from the said westerly boundary of District Lot Three hundred and twenty (320), and continuing northerly, parallel to and thirty-three (33) feet perpendicularly distant westerly from the westerly boundary of District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027) to intersection of the same with the line perpendicular to the said westerly boundary of District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027) from the south-west corner of Block Eighteen (18) therein; thence westerly at right angles to the said westerly boundary of District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027) a distance of four hundred and ten (410) feet; thence northerly, parallel to the said westerly boundary of District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027) a distance of six hundred and sixty-seven and seven-tenths (667.7) feet, more or less; thence easterly along the arc of a circular curve to the right, having a radius of curvature of one thousand four hundred and fifty (1,450) feet, and arc distance of three hundred and eighty-one and four-tenths (381.4) feet, more or less, to a point of tangency to and on the production westerly of the line perpendicular to the aforesaid westerly boundary of District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027) from the north-west corner of Block Nineteen (19) therein, which point of tangency is situate sixty-six (66) feet distant westerly, measured along the said perpendicular line from the said corner of Block Nineteen (19); thence easterly along the aforesaid perpendicular line to intersection of the same with a line drawn parallel to and thirty-three (33) feet perpendicularly distant westerly from the westerly boundary of District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027); thence northerly and parallel to the said westerly boundary of District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027) to intersection with the production easterly of a line drawn parallel to and thirty (30) feet perpendicularly distant south from the southerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292), District Lot One hundred and forty (140); thence westerly following in the said production easterly of a line drawn parallel to and thirty (30) feet perpendicularly distant south from the southerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292), and continuing westerly in the said line drawn parallel to and thirty (30) feet perpendicularly distant south from the southerly boundary of said Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) to an intersection with the southerly production of a radius passing through the beginning of a curve to the right in the said southerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292); thence westerly and north-westerly in the arc of a curve to the right of radius one hundred and eighty-nine and seven-tenths (189.7) feet concentric with the said curve to the right in the southerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) to an intersection with the south-westerly production of a radius passing the end of said curve to the right in the southerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292); thence north-westerly in a straight line drawn parallel to and thirty (30) feet perpendicularly distant south-westerly from the said southerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) to an intersection with the southerly production of a line drawn parallel to and seventy (70) feet perpendicularly distant westerly from the westerly boundary of said Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292); thence northerly in the said southerly production of a line drawn parallel to and seventy (70) feet perpendicularly distant westerly from the westerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) and continuing northerly in the said line to an intersection with the westerly production of a line drawn parallel to and fifty (50) feet perpendicularly distant north of the northerly boundary of said Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292); thence easterly in the said westerly production of a line drawn parallel to and fifty (50) feet perpendicularly distant north of the northerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) and continuing easterly in the said line to an intersection with the northerly production of a radius passing through a beginning of curve to the right in the said northerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292); thence easterly in the arc of a curve to the right of radius nine hundred and fifty-five and thirty-seven one-hundredths (955.37) feet concentric with the said curve to the right in the northerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) to an intersection with the northerly production of a radius passing through the end of said curve to the right in the northerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292); thence easterly in a line drawn parallel to and fifty (50) feet perpendicularly distant north of the said northerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) to intersection with the northerly production of a line drawn parallel to and one hundred (100) feet perpendicularly distant west of the westerly boundary of Lot C in said Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292); thence northerly in the said northerly production of a line drawn parallel to and one hundred (100) feet perpendicularly distant west of the westerly boundary of Lot C in Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) a distance of fifty (50) feet; thence easterly in a line drawn parallel to and one hundred (100) feet perpendicularly north of the said northerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) to intersection with the northerly production of the said westerly boundary of Lot C; thence southerly in the said northerly production of the westerly boundary of Lot C to a point in the said northerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292); thence easterly in the said northerly boundary of Block Two hundred and ninety-two (292) and the easterly production thereof to a point in the said westerly boundary of District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027); thence northerly in a straight line to the north-west corner of the said District Lot Two thousand and twenty-seven (2027); thence northerly in a straight line to a point on the centre line of Eighteenth Avenue produced westerly, which point is situate thirty-three (33) feet distant westerly, measured along the said centre line thus produced from its intersection with the westerly boundary of Block Forty-four (44) in District Lot One hundred and thirty-nine (139); thence westerly, parallel to the centre line of Sixteenth Avenue (which centre line shall be deemed to be, for the purpose of this description, that line drawn parallel to and sixty-six (66) feet perpendicularly distant southerly from the northern limit of Sixteenth Avenue) to intersection of the same with the centre line of Discovery Street; thence northerly along the centre line of Discovery Street to intersection of the same with the said centre line of Sixteenth Avenue; thence westerly along the centre line of Sixteenth Avenue to intersection of the same with a line drawn parallel to and thirty-three (33) feet perpendicularly distant westerly from the westerly boundary of Block One hundred and sixty (160) in District Lot Five hundred and forty (540); thence northerly, parallel to and thirty-three (33) feet perpendicularly distant westerly from the westerly boundaries, in succession, of Blocks One hundred and sixty (160), One hundred and fifty-nine (159), One hundred and fifty-two (152), One hundred and fifty-one (151), and One hundred and forty-four (144) respectively in District Lot Five hundred and forty (540) to intersection of the same with the centre line of Sixth Avenue; thence westerly along the centre line of Sixth Avenue, being along a curve to the left, concentric with and radially distant forty (40) feet southerly from the southerly boundary of Block Seven (7) in District Lot One hundred and forty (140), to intersection of the same with the continuation southerly of the curve, concentric with and radially distant thirty-three (33) feet westerly from the westerly boundary of the said Block Seven (7) in District Lot One hundred and forty (140); thence northerly along the said curve, concentric with and radially distant thirty-three (33) feet westerly from the said westerly boundary of Block Seven (7) in District Lot One hundred and forty (140), and along the continuation northerly thereof, to intersection of the same with the centre line of the one-hundred-and-twenty-foot street lying between Blocks Six (6) and Seven (7) in District Lot One hundred and forty (140) (which street is now known as "Fourth Avenue"); thence westerly along the centre line of the said one-hundred-and-twenty-foot street to intersection of the same with the production southerly of the westerly boundary of Block Five (5) in District Lot One hundred and forty (140); thence northerly along the said production, and continuing northerly along the westerly boundaries, in succession, of Blocks Five (5), Three (3), and One (1) respectively in District Lot One hundred and forty (140) to the north-west corner of the said Block One (1); thence continuing northerly along the production northerly of the said westerly boundary of Block One (1) in District Lot One hundred and forty (140) a distance of forty (40) feet, more or less, to a boundary survey monument set at or near the high-water mark of Burrard Inlet; thence along a line bearing astronomically north, thirteen (13) degrees east, a distance of two thousand (2,000) feet; thence easterly in a straight line to a point in English Bay of Burrard Inlet, which point is situate astronomically north and three thousand (3,000) feet distant from a boundary survey monument set on the boundary between District Lot Five hundred and twenty-six (526) and District Lot One hundred and ninety-two (192) and set at a distance southerly from high-water mark of English Bay of approximately fifty (50) feet; thence astronomically north to intersection with a line drawn astronomically west through the aforedescribed point of commencement; thence astronomically east to the said point of commencement; each and every of the district lots herein mentioned being more particularly described as being in Group One (1), New Westminster District of the Province of British Columbia.

 


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#31 nagel

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:36 AM

I'm guessing it'll just be a surcharge on top of the regular property tax.  Rather than a flat per month or per year rate.

The rate method is the easy part.  the hard part is defining what a vacant property is, and somehow getting compliance with that.

 

Example 1 - a single (not married, no kids) MLA has a house in Van but works in Vic 200 days a year (joke, I know).  So their home is vacant 200 days a year.  Probably not a vacant home.

 

2 - HK businessman has an investment condo in Van and uses it one weekend every month during business trips.  More questionable.

 

3 - Another foreign investment condo but someone stays there 2 or 3 days a year, or just goes in to make sure it wasn't used for a rave. - Should be captured.

 

But how do you actually do it?  All these use electricity, so is it just a declaration?


Edited by nagel, 13 July 2016 - 07:36 AM.


#32 Mike K.

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:39 AM

Does council actually believe this will be good for the market? Real-estate values will drop alongside this tax. Buyers will now opt to go to one of the other 12 municipalities out of fear that their snowbird tendencies could get them taxed.


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#33 Mike K.

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:41 AM

But how do you actually do it?  All these use electricity, so is it just a declaration?

 

You can't. This will be a tax of perception. Once you're in their sights, they'll assess whether you have to pay the tax.

 

Although I'd love for the Sid Tafler's of the world to see how few units in Victoria do remain empty in the condo buildings they allege are empty because there are no lights on at 7PM.


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#34 lanforod

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:46 AM

Does council actually believe this will be good for the market? Real-estate values will drop alongside this tax. Buyers will now opt to go to one of the other 12 municipalities out of fear that their snowbird tendencies could get them taxed.

This is Vancouver we're talking about. You mean the other 20 municipalities.

 

I doubt it will have that much of an effect, unless this tax is crazy high.


Edited by lanforod, 13 July 2016 - 07:47 AM.


#35 nagel

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:48 AM

This is Vancouver we're talking about. You mean the other 20 municipalities.

 

I doubt it will have that much of an effect, unless this tax is crazy high.

Correct.  If the tax is reasonable you'd just factor that into your investment calculation, and if there is no/low penalty for initial non-compliance, you try and avoid paying it and that money is just a bonus.



#36 Mike K.

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:59 AM

This is Vancouver we're talking about. You mean the other 20 municipalities.

 

I doubt it will have that much of an effect, unless this tax is crazy high.

 

Helps is talking about bringing this idea here, though.


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#37 RFS

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 09:37 AM

Why don't they make the tax only applicable to foreign nationals? That would accomplish what its supposed to without hurting people who aren't the problem like retirees etc

#38 Greg

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 09:52 AM

That doesn't really make sense though, does it? The problem isn't that the house is owned by a foreign national, it is that it is sitting empty, right?

 

/If there even is a problem. I kind of think when someone buys a house they actually have some property rights, such as the right of "quiet enjoyment" which would certainly include allowing the house to sit empty in any rationale definition of the term.



#39 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 10:02 AM

That doesn't really make sense though, does it? The problem isn't that the house is owned by a foreign national, it is that it is sitting empty, right?

 

/If there even is a problem. I kind of think when someone buys a house they actually have some property rights, such as the right of "quiet enjoyment" which would certainly include allowing the house to sit empty in any rationale definition of the term.

 

Right, like you say, even if there is a problem at all.

 

If this tax "solves" the empty home issue in Vancouver overnight, and suddenly 10,000 homes go up for rent at $2,000 to $3,500 per month, do they all get occupied, and it solves homelessness?

 

Lastly, has any economist(s) been consulted to see what the effects might be?


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#40 spanky123

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 10:41 AM

They should only tax Chinese nationals and refer to it as the 'help ensure availability of dwellings' or HEAD tax for short.


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