Automatically taxing most B.C. homeowners as speculators is unfair
VANCOUVER, B.C.: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the British Columbia government to reverse course and stop automatically taxing more than a million British Columbia homeowners as “speculators.”
“Negative billing is not a fair way to tax someone,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “It defies common sense to send more than a million B.C. homeowners a huge new tax bill unless they wade through a tangle of government red tape every year to prove that they aren’t speculators. This sounds like guilty until proven innocent.”
Every homeowner in the regions of Greater Victoria, Metro Vancouver, Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo and the District of Lantzville will be taxed as a speculator by the NDP-Green government, unless and until they can prove otherwise. These new government tax letters are being sent to more than 1.6 million B.C. homeowners so the government can find and tax just 32,000 homeowners.
B.C. homeowners who are deemed “speculators” by the provincial government will have to pay a new tax of 0.5 per cent of their property’s assessed value if the home is not their primary residence and if they do not rent it out. Foreign homeowners in the affected regions will pay an additional 2 per cent tax if their homes are left vacant. After many revisions and changes, the B.C. government now estimates it will collect $185 million in this tax in 2019.
“How many new government employees have they hired to manage more than a million new tax documents and emails and follow-up phone calls flooding in – are the departments ready for the deluge of disputes?” said Sims. “When the NDP mentioned their speculation tax during the election they were vague about how they would impose it on B.C. homeowners, but now the details show it will be an administrative nightmare that’s automatically taxing more than a million homeowners unless they can prove they don’t deserve it.”
Kris Sims, BC Director
Mobile & text message: 1-604-997-1798
The CTF is Canada's leading non-partisan citizens' advocacy group fighting for lower taxes, less waste and accountable government. Founded in 1990, the CTF has more than 136,000 supporters and seven offices across Canada. The CTF is funded by free-will, non tax-receiptable contributions.