Foreign owners, non-residents pay most of BC speculation tax

by Steve Randall12 Jul 2019

The Speculation and Vacant Homes tax (SVT) introduced by the British Columbia government will bring in $115 million to help support affordable homes in the province.

The government says that more than 99.8% of British Columbians are exempt from the tax and that around 80% of those paying the tax were foreign homeowners, satellite families, and Canadians living outside the province.

“The speculation and vacancy tax was designed to make sure foreign owners, satellite families and people who use local services without paying income tax in B.C. contribute to the quality of life we all enjoy in this province,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “We are tackling our province’s housing crisis and this tax is a key part of our 30-point-plan to root out speculation and bring moderation to the housing market.”

The government’s stats show that as of July 4, 2019 the taxpayers includeds:

  • 4,585 foreign owners
  • 3,241 satellite families
  • 1,555 Canadians living outside of B.C.
  • 2,410 B.C. residents
  • 238 others (such as properties held through corporations and trusts, often with multiple owners)

The data also shows that homes owned by those paying the tax were, on average, 46% more expensive than homes that are exempt.

The payment date for the SVT was July 2, 2019. Any owners who live in a taxable area and have still not completed a declaration will be contacted by the Ministry of Finance outlining how they can complete an online declaration and claim an exemption.

Carole James will meet with mayors from the municipalities where the tax applies to share data and analysis from the SVT.

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