NDP government says it’s committed to crackdown on speculators with multiple vacant homes

Carole James
Photo: Vinnie Combow

AS the government’s tax on housing speculators shows signs of working, the BC Liberals and their allies continue to protect foreign speculators and people sitting on multiple vacant homes, says the NDP.

Last week, MLS figures revealed pre-sale condo prices are flattening. Michael Ferreira of Urban Analytics believes the market is beginning to “feel the effects of the various policies introduced by various levels of governments.” (Vancouver Sun, Sept 4)

And on Monday, SFU Professor Josh Gordon told UBCM delegates that “the market is now turning and we’re going to start to get more affordable housing” as a result of the New Democrat government’s new housing measures, including the speculation tax. (StarMetro, Sept 10)

British Columbians overwhelmingly support the tax on housing speculators. The most recent poll, conducted in August by Angus Reid, showed 88 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents support the speculation tax. Even 81 per cent of B.C. Liberal voters support the measure. (Angus Reid Institute, August 27)

This confirms results from multiple polls that consistently show British Columbians support the speculation tax by a margin of 3 or even 4 to 1. (Angus Reid Institute, May 9; Research Co, June 5; Insights West, March 1)

“Andrew Wilkinson and the BC Liberals’ inaction caused the housing crisis, and their plan to cut taxes for speculators would make it even worse. Instead of letting speculators drive up housing prices, we’re asking people with multiple vacant homes to either rent out their homes or pay a little more. Making housing more affordable for everyday British Columbians is the right thing to do,” said Finance Minister Carole James.

Facts on the speculation tax:

  • More than 99 per cent of British Columbians will not pay the speculation tax.
  • The tax is expected to generate $200 million per year to help fund B.C.’s historic $7 billion investment in affordable rental housing.
  • The speculation tax targets foreign speculators, satellite families, and people with multiple vacant homes in the largest B.C. municipalities.
  • Owners of multiple properties can avoid paying the tax by renting out their houses for at least six months of the year.