Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

Finance Minister Carole James and B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver announce compromise on speculation tax on empty homes, B.C. legislature, Oct. 18, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Owners of vacation properties captured by B.C.’s new empty-home tax will begin receiving letters this week telling them how they must declare they are exempt from the tax.

The deadline for registering to avoid the 0.5 per cent additional property tax is March 31, according to the finance ministry, which emphasizes that the pared-down tax will apply to fewer than one per cent of the property owners in the project.

All property owners in the affected areas should receive the letters by Feb. 28. They will have to register to avoid the tax by the deadline of March 31 or be billed on their property taxes for a vacant home. Registration can be done at a new website, www.gov.bc.ca/spectax or by phoning 1-833-554-2323. The registration process is expected to take up to 20 minutes, and those who are not exempted have until July 2 to pay the tax.

RELATED: NDP retreats again on B.C. empty home tax

RELATED: Weaver reminds Nanaimo voters he ‘fine tuned’ tax

After protests from urban municipalities and extended negotiations between the NDP government and the B.C. Green Party, the property tax now applies only to Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the municipalities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Kelowna and West Kelowna. The rate was reduced to 0.5 per cent for all Canadian owners at the insistence of B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver, who earlier objected to it being applied to vacation homes in the Gulf Islands.

Within those communities, identified as having low vacancy rates, owners of additional homes that are not their private residences can exempt themselves from the tax by renting it out at least six months of the year.

“By completing the declaration and registering to claim an exemption, British Columbians will help identify speculators and empty homes, allowing the government to crack down on speculation and make housing more affordable,” the ministry said in a statement released Tuesday.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Have you seen missing Duncan teen Cera Qwulshemut?

15-year-old First Nations girl missing from in front of Shoppers Drug Mart

VIDEO: Water treatment delays becoming ridiculous, Peters says

Lake Cowichan has been kept waiting long enough: it’s time to finish the job: Peters

Cowichan Lake Elder Care Society hosting fundraiser

Buy a burger and a beer, get a seniors care facility

Saltair Marine’s ‘Silver Bullet’ found by RCMP months after reported theft

The $20,000 vessel was stolen from the Ladysmith Marina back in July

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to earlier raid on Chemainus property

YouTube video of Revelstoke grizzly bear goes viral

Why did the grizzly bear cross the railway tracks?

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

RCMP members search shore along Stories Beach near Campbell River

Ground search not thought to be related to Oct. 16 homicide: RCMP

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Most Read