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British Columbia real-estate and foreign buyer taxes


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#41 RFS

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 10:48 AM

Oh I completely agree. I'm totally against this tax. But if they are going to implement it they may as well be honest about what they are going after

#42 spanky123

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 11:42 AM

Political BS which poorly implemented could cost us all money.

 

Gregor has admitted that the tax will not likely change behavior so that leaves us with 'tax grab' as the sole motivating factor behind the move. Once it is in place, it will be expanded to include 2nd homes and vacation properties as Les Leyne has suggested. We already have a homeowners which only applies to owner / occupiers so this would be double taxation on that basis.

 

The Liberals are quite happy to show that they are trying to do something about escalating prices in Vancouver and let Gregor and Lisa make a fool of themselves in the process. 

 

I know several people who are buying houses now in Victoria and they are all local. The rationale is that prices are rising so it is a good time to get in and interest rates are ultra low and they can borrow much more. Deja vu


Edited by spanky123, 13 July 2016 - 11:43 AM.

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#43 satellite

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:16 PM

Has there been any talk about stopping a Strata's ability to restrict rental units within their building?  There must be some empty condos tied up with stratas that wont allow rentals. How can we tax vacancy without allowing a unit to be rented in the first place?  


Edited by satellite, 13 July 2016 - 05:17 PM.

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#44 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:20 PM

Has there been any talk about stopping a Strata's ability to restrict rental units within their building?  There must be some empty condos tied up with stratas that wont allow rentals. How can we tax vacancy without allowing a unit to be rented in the first place?  

 

I would not be onboard with that.  You know going in, or as a strata community you vote it.    I'm not cool on the government legislating it.

 

Oh, almost every place that has restrictions on rentals allows family to occupy a unit.  Not sure that helps.


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#45 LeoVictoria

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:35 PM

I would not be onboard with that.  You know going in, or as a strata community you vote it.    I'm not cool on the government legislating it.

 

Oh, almost every place that has restrictions on rentals allows family to occupy a unit.  Not sure that helps.

 

I believe rental restrictions (or at least complete rental bans) are less common now.   Rental restrictions hurt property values, they don't help.



#46 sebberry

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:36 PM

I could easily support a provincial law that required all stratas to permit a minimum of 25% rentals in the building.

If as a group of owners you are opposed to rentals, then simply don't rent your suite out. Nobody would force you to rent out your home.

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#47 sebberry

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:36 PM

Rental restrictions hurt property values, they don't help.


Unfortunately communicating that to strata owners is like forcing water through glass.

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#48 Bernard

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:20 PM

How you would implement this tax is not clear to me at all.   How do you measure this?  I can not think of how it could be done.   Do I have to take a selfie with today's paper to prove I am living in the house?

 

Enforcement of this tax will likely cost a lot, it could even cost more than the tax would bring in.   You would need to have enough staff on the ground to check every household to see if someone is living there.  In the City of Vancouver there are about 300,000 households.   If a person can check on 60-70 households per work day it would take about 40 staff to check each household twice a year.   Add 20 senior staff and admin and you are at 60 staff.  That is a cost to the city of around $12,000,000 a year.   You would need a whole new office space for all these staff.

 

So realistically no one is going to check on all the households and rely on the honour system 

 

If the goal is to change behaviour, the tax needs to be high, very high.   I am thinking something like 20% of the assessed value per year is the range the tax needs to be in to change behaviour.   i can not see anyone actually 


Edited by Bernard, 13 July 2016 - 06:25 PM.


#49 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:45 PM

Enforcement of this tax will likely cost a lot, it could even cost more than the tax would bring in.   You would need to have enough staff on the ground to check every household to see if someone is living there.  In the City of Vancouver there are about 300,000 households.   If a person can check on 60-70 households per work day it would take about 40 staff to check each household twice a year.   Add 20 senior staff and admin and you are at 60 staff.  That is a cost to the city of around $12,000,000 a year.   You would need a whole new office space for all these staff.

 

 

You would rely on submitted complaints, just like lack of building permits (the guy building more suites onto his home next door) and almost everything else is handled now.

 

 Nobody investigates the 300,000 households, just the 500 complaint submissions each week.


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#50 Coreyburger

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:58 PM

They are going to amend the Vancouver Charter, not the Community Charter or Local Government Act, so this will only help the City of Vancouver.

 

I like the idea of claiming it on property tax: just make your primary residence exempt and require some sort of proof of residency for non-primary residences (like a tenancy agreement).



#51 LJ

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:39 PM

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.

If they amend the municipal charter, not just the Vancouver charter, each muni would have to implement their own tax. Parksville and Shawnigan are not going to do that.

The home has to be vacant for a year, there is no way you are going to be able to prove the house was not occupied at least one day a year. Who would snitch? I have a neighbour whose house has been vacant for 3 years, save about 5 or 6 days, best neighbours you can have, nice and quiet. If the home is derelict wouldn't the owner just bulldoze the joint and keep the property, that is where the money is. 


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#52 LJ

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:41 PM

How you would implement this tax is not clear to me at all.   How do you measure this?  I can not think of how it could be done.   Do I have to take a selfie with today's paper to prove I am living in the house?

 

Enforcement of this tax will likely cost a lot, it could even cost more than the tax would bring in.   You would need to have enough staff on the ground to check every household to see if someone is living there.  In the City of Vancouver there are about 300,000 households.   If a person can check on 60-70 households per work day it would take about 40 staff to check each household twice a year.   Add 20 senior staff and admin and you are at 60 staff.  That is a cost to the city of around $12,000,000 a year.   You would need a whole new office space for all these staff.

 

So realistically no one is going to check on all the households and rely on the honour system 

 

If the goal is to change behaviour, the tax needs to be high, very high.   I am thinking something like 20% of the assessed value per year is the range the tax needs to be in to change behaviour.   i can not see anyone actually 

You would have to check every home every day to make sure nobody is living there, ain't gonna happen.


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#53 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 07:54 PM

How Helps twisted it around to derelict homes is odd.

 

32 houses.   That pay property taxes, and are not nearly in any shape to take occupants.

 

Why not just extra tax 2 or 3 floor buildings that are in zoning that allows 9-floor buildings?  They are holding back 125 rental suites and the real scofflaws!

 

.


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#54 Greg

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 09:00 PM

How Helps twisted it around to derelict homes is odd.

 

32 houses.   That pay property taxes, and are not nearly in any shape to take occupants.

 

Why not just extra tax 2 or 3 floor buildings that are in zoning that allows 9-floor buildings?  They are holding back 125 rental suites and the real scofflaws!

 

.

 

Tax all undersized buildings in the core. But with a twist, the owners don't foot the bill, it goes straight to Pamela Madoff. :)


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#55 manuel

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 10:42 PM

Some poor folk in a policy shop in Rich's ministry in government are likely busy cross-checking high level policy concepts with key stakeholders, executive and the politicians. At the same time a brave legal drafter is working to ensure that all is legal, clear and drafted well.

Wait a bit for the details. This was sprung on staff in the middle of summer, a bunch were probably in random places on vacation, and of course there is no public mention of the details until people know what they are or at least what the main palatable options are.

Realistically given the time frames, it will be enabling legislation, as simple as possible, with regulatory details to follow.

From a compliance and enforcement perspective, if there is legal authority for the municipality to view BC hydro (or Fortis electric) gross consumption data, the it would be quite easy to flag issues. Combine this with a few cross checks of other utility data (cable, water use come to mind) and one has a pretty good preliminary list. Send out registered letters to the owners indicating a higher tax rate and then resolve the inevitable false positives administratively.

Biggest issue is likely giving non resident owners sufficient warning of their potential obligation.

Edited by manuel, 13 July 2016 - 10:44 PM.

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#56 Mike K.

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 05:42 AM

This is some heavy Orwellian type of stuff, though. A big part of Canadian culture is to winter vacation abroad for long periods of time, particularly among the retiree crowd.

So are we now going to require that individuals check in with their municipal government before leaving town? Even under Communism things weren't as bad.

The only taxes we should be implementing are those for purchasers of real-estate who are non-residents. Simple as that. If you're a resident or a citizen you're good to go, otherwise pony up. It won't catch everyone, but it'll send a message.

Then you take those proceeds and turn them over to affordable housing projects.
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#57 spanky123

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 06:19 AM

This is some heavy Orwellian type of stuff, though. A big part of Canadian culture is to winter vacation abroad for long periods of time, particularly among the retiree crowd.

So are we now going to require that individuals check in with their municipal government before leaving town? Even under Communism things weren't as bad.

The only taxes we should be implementing are those for purchasers of real-estate who are non-residents. Simple as that. If you're a resident or a citizen you're good to go, otherwise pony up. It won't catch everyone, but it'll send a message.

Then you take those proceeds and turn them over to affordable housing projects.

 

Problem with that Mike is that you can easily set up a resident holdco and purchase the property through that.



#58 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 06:27 AM

Problem with that Mike is that you can easily set up a resident holdco and purchase the property through that.

 

That's what I was thinking.  


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#59 rjag

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 06:35 AM

As with any regulations, they have the best intentions but are usually flawed. Someone will create a randomizer software designed to impersonate a person at a residence by consuming enough hydro to exclude them from the red flag.

all Comrade Gregor and his ilk will do is create a new arms race in ways to fool the snoops

Not that I want to share but it's relevant to the topic. We have a condo at Mt Washington that we purchased 12+ years ago that we hardly use anymore ( kids have grown up etc) we put it in the rental pool for 2-3 years and pulled it out as the wear and tear repairs exceeded the revenue collected. So now it's empty perhaps 11 3/4 months out of 12 while we consider selling or keeping for the next generation. I know it's not in the City but it could have a similar impact if the mountain has a great season and accommodation is limited yet there are condos like ours sitting empty..... Should we be forced to rent it or sell it because we aren't contributing to the economy of the mountain? (Btw the land title rules have changed and it's a freehold)

Edited by rjag, 14 July 2016 - 06:43 AM.


#60 manuel

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 06:55 AM

Why is everyone getting all worked up on proposed changes - let alone real changes -b that they haven't even seen yet? The attacks on political figures that one doesn't like while other politicians involved get a free pass is showing bias - and continuing a pattern on VV that if a VV reader isn't politically conservative they don't feel welcome. Basically the Sid Teller up in arms over something unseen and likely innocuous reaction is occurring, but with the group criticizing Sid doing the same thing over a change that might, but likely won't affect them.

I (and probably a lot of others) happen to agree with a lot said on development on this forum, but don't like the politics.
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