The province is expanding its speculation and vacancy tax program to those in the Cowichan Valley. That means that vacant homes or homes used as investment properties will be taxed as an incentive to repurpose or return them to the market.
Effected properties in the Cowichan Valley will receive their first speculation and vacancy tax declaration letter in 2024. Those will be in North Cowichan, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, and Ladysmith. They join homeowners in several larger cities that are already paying this tax, including Nanaimo and Lantzville on the Island.
The province is clear to say that not many properties are affected by this tax.
“More than 99% of people who live in B.C. were exempt from paying the SVT tax in 2022 and the same is expected in 2023,” says the provincial release.
Minister of Finance, Katrine Conroy says that the speculation and vacancy tax is working.
We’ve seen thousands of empty condos return to the rental market in Metro Vancouver alone,” says Conroy.
“While some would cancel the speculation tax altogether and let speculators back into our housing market, we will be expanding it to additional communities next year, and we’ll continue to strengthen it to help provide much-needed homes for people and families.”
The tax has already generated $313 million which the province has used to help fund new affordable housing in those communities.
Conroy says, “In the wake of soaring prices and record migration, we’re taking on important work to help people find good homes in B.C., and the speculation tax is one of the ways we’re ensuring people have access to much-needed homes in their communities.”