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It’s about to become more expensive for foreign buyers to purchase real estate in British Columbia, following an announcement by B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong that purchasers of Vancouver real estate who are neither citizens nor have a Canadian address will now have to pay an additional 15% sales tax.
The tax, which goes into effect August 2, has agents divided.
Many have been critical of the approach.
“How foolish and so typically ignorant of government; there are so many ways to stimulate a solution to the problem, instead they've implemented a ridiculous tax to drive the money away to be invested elsewhere,” one commenter wrote in REP’s forum. “Instead of creating opportunities and incentives they introduce penalties and negativity into the marketplace!”
Others, meanwhile, have called the move downright racist.
“They should have just put in a head tax on the Chinese or put it on title that they cannot buy in certain areas,” Scott Simmons, a B.C. agent, wrote. “Oh wait they did that 131 years ago and it's called racism. This is nothing more that modern day punitive tax on the Chinese investors.”
However, not everyone views the new tax in a negative light.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Omer Quenneville, an agent with Homeward Real Estate, recently told REP.
Quenneville, however, did question what the government plans to do with the additional income the tax will generate.
It may be one of the most divisive topics in recent memory and agents are, unsurprisingly, opinionated