The NDP Provincial government introduced two initiatives that will impact housing in the three million dollar and up price point. As reported by Global News the Property Transfer Tax that is due when a house is sold will go from three to five per cent on these properties, bringing in an estimated $81 extra million dollars annually to the province. And where are those houses? They are predominantly in Point Grey, the University Endowment Lands, and in White Rock.
As well, school taxes will be increased for these houses with an increased tax of 0.2 per cent on the assessed value. If the house is worth over 4 million dollars, that tax will be 0.4 per cent. Duke of Data Andy Yan with the City Program at Simon Fraser University calls this initiative “policy innovation towards progressive wealth taxation” stating “We’re finally increasing the parking and club fees of the hedge city.”
Noting that Canada’s immigration policy on wealth expected to have taxable income as a result, the new housing taxes on multi million dollar houses are designed to deal with a global economy where it is challenging to trace and tax foreign income.
Yan said the NDP’s new housing taxes are a way of dealing with a “globalizing economy,” when foreign income has proven very difficult to trace and tax.
Andy also observed that there had not been much of a negative reaction to the new taxes. “There’s no Boston Tea Party in Coal Harbour,” Yan said, referencing a 1773 protest by Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty, who threw 342 chests of tea into Boston’s harbour to strike back against new taxes levelled by the British Parliament at the time.” There is also another tax as well if homeowners do not make income in British Columbia a new speculation tax that will be charged “at $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value this year, and $20 per $1,000 of assessed value next year.” That tax will take effect in the Fall of 2018.
Images by Andy Yan