BC is pushing ahead with its so called “Speculation Tax” as brought forward in the NDP government spring budget. Legislation is currently being drafted with the intent of bringing the tax in for January 2019. It is expected that the legislation needed to enact the tax will be brought to the fall sitting of the Legislature.
The stated goal of the tax is to discourage speculation in the housing market in specified areas within the province, but there is no evidence to date that this tax will have the desired effect. BC residents will pay at a rate of 0.5% of assessed value, whereas other Canadians will pay 1% and foreigners 2%. Basing the tax on assessed value actually makes this an asset tax and nothing to do with speculation as it is generally known. The current designated tax areas are Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Kelowna/W Kelowna, Victoria and Nanaimo. So far the government has not targeted the Shuswap area.
Recent reports have indicated a likely negative impact from the “Speculation Tax” on recreational property values in BC. A current Royal Lepage report (https://www.cheknews.ca/speculation-tax-impedes-price-growth-on-b-c-recreational-property-values-royal-lepage-report-457764/) says, “Overall, Canada is forecast to have a 5.8-per-cent increase in recreational property values, while prices in BC are expected to drop 2.8 per cent”. This is not good news for areas of the Shuswap that are already facing strong economic headwinds.
SWOA will continue to monitor the “Speculation Tax” issue and will endeavour to let or members know of any impacts.
If you have concerns and want to join a group opposed to the speculation tax, go to the "Scrap the Tax" website at http://scrapthespeculationtax.ca/