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Speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) declarations indicate foreign owners, satellite families and those with vacant homes will contribute $115 million to homes for people, and more than 99.8% of British Columbians are exempt.

“The speculation and vacancy tax was designed to make sure foreign owners, satellite families and people who use local services without paying income tax in B.C. contribute to the quality of life we all enjoy in this province,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “We are tackling our province’s housing crisis and this tax is a key part of our 30-point-plan to root out speculation and bring moderation to the housing market.”

Data shows that foreign owners, satellite families and Canadians living outside B.C. make up approximately 80% of those paying the tax. On average, homes captured by the tax are 46% more expensive than homes exempt from the SVT in the taxable areas.

As of July 4, 12,029 owners are paying the SVT:

  • 4,585 foreign owners
  • 3,241 satellite families
  • 1,555 Canadians living outside of B.C.
  • 2,410 B.C. residents
  • 238 other (such as properties held through corporations and trusts, often with multiple owners)

In early September 2019, James will meet with mayors from municipalities where the tax is applied. The annual meeting will be an opportunity to share data and analysis from the SVT.

The payment date for the SVT was July 2, 2019. Any owners who live in a taxable area and have still not completed a declaration will be contacted by the Ministry of Finance outlining how they can complete an online declaration and claim an exemption.

The tax is a key part of the B.C. government’s 30-point plan to restore housing affordability in B.C. by:

  • targeting foreign and domestic speculators who own homes in B.C. but do not pay tax here;
  • turning empty homes into housing; and
  • raising revenue to support affordable housing in communities where the tax applies.