There will be new real estate speculation taxes and legislation cracking down on real estate tax evasion and money laundering in next week’s B.C. Budget, the B.C. government announced February 13.
In the throne speech from the legislature, Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon said that the “single greatest challenge to affordability in British Columbia is housing.”
In addition to the existing provincial housing strategy set out by the NPD government, Guichon announced, “Government’s first step must be to address demand and stabilize B.C.’s out-of-control real estate and rental markets. Safe, decent housing is a right that is under threat by speculators, domestic and foreign, who seek windfall profits at the expense of people who work, live and pay taxes in B.C. … Too many British Columbians are paying the price.
“Your government believes that people seeking to profit from B.C.’s real estate must also contribute to housing solutions. Budget 2018 will put forward new measures to address the impact of speculation on real estate prices.”
On the topic of vacation rentals, Guichon said, “As recently announced by this government, we are working with online hospitality and accommodation providers to make short-term and vacation rentals pay their fair share.”
Guichon also announced that “government will introduce legislation to crack down on tax fraud, tax evasion and money laundering in B.C.’s real estate market.”
The speech also addressed home supply measures, stressing that the government would continue to work with municipal governments and housing agencies to supply the homes set out in its strategy.
Guichon added, “Government will consider future measures to make renting more affordable,” and said that new student housing slated to be built would free up rental units currently being occupied by students.
The B.C. Budget 2018 announcement is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at around 1:30 p.m.