Pasco's Blog

Vancouvers 'Empty Home tax' - latest cash grab?!


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November 14, 2016

While implemented in the name of creating more 'affordable housing', it's more likely that the cities latest move is just another attempt to balance its books.

Once again real estate investors/absentee owners have surfaced as governments latest 'Tax targets'!

As of Jan 1st , 2017, the city plans an additional tax on owners of 'vacant' properties(rented less than 6 months/year & under 30 day terms).

While the cities definition of what is an 'Empty home' has eased somewhat since first introduced (originally proposal was 9 mnths/year), absentee owners sitting on an empty property (such as vacation homes) may need to re-valuate their use.

The additional tax of 1% of the properties value could be substantial for many owners as the typical 1-2 bedroom, downtown condo can range from $600K to well over $1 Mil +.

The next hurdle for administration of this new tax is for owners to 'self-declare'...and we know how well that can go when it comes to paying taxes.

Recently introduced 'Foreign Buyers tax', courtesy of the BC Premier & now 'Empty homes tax'...

Perhaps more for fuel to the fire for investors to seek opportunities outside a 'tax crazed/cash strapped' Metro Vancouver area.

At least for the time being, there remains more 'investor-friendly' parts of BC such as; Whistler, Van Island and the BC Interior all of which should see increase investor activity...at least until until new taxes are introduced in those regions!

More details to follow...

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