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B.C. launches speculation and vacancy tax, with new name following criticism

By Joannah Connolly for Business in Vancouver

The newly named “speculation and vacancy tax” will apply to those who own second and vacant homes in applicable areas of B.C. as of December 31, the provincial government announced October 16.

Anyone who owns a home that is not their primary residence, and that is not rented out at least six months of the year, on December 31 of each taxation year, is liable for the tax for that year. The tax only applies in certain areas, which are the Capital Regional District, Metro Vancouver (except Bowen Island and Lions Bay), Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo and Lantzville.

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For owners of such properties, as of December 31, 2018, the tax will be levied at 0.5 per cent of the property’s assessed value for all owners, no matter where their own residence is.

In 2019 and beyond, the tax rates will be:

• 2 per cent for foreign nationals and satellite families who do not pay income tax in Canada;

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