Mayors join finance minister to discuss, share feedback on landmark tax

Mayors join finance minister to discuss, share feedback on landmark tax

 BC, News, Politics
 Thursday September 12, 2019
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Carole James, Minister of Finance, is in Vancouver today to meet with mayors from municipalities where the speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) is applied.

With more than 1.6 million declarations completed, data shows that 99.8% of British Columbians are exempt, while foreign owners, satellite families and those with vacant homes are contributing toward building more affordable homes for people in the communities where the tax applies.

“Our government inherited a province at the peak of a housing crisis and committed to tackling this crisis head-on,” said James. “The speculation and vacancy tax is helping to make sure homes are being used for people, not speculation or money laundering. I look forward to meeting with the mayors to further discuss the first year of this tax and how it is working to make life better for British Columbians.”

The annual roundtable discussion with mayors is an opportunity to share information and insight relating to the SVT, discuss the tax’s role in helping moderate B.C.’s real estate market and increase affordable housing in the mayors’ communities.

The meeting is also part of legislation amended and supported by the BC Green Party caucus and will provide a chance for each municipality to receive data and statistics relating to the tax in their community.

Quick Facts:

  • Over 99.8% of British Columbians are exempt from paying the tax.
  • Revenue from the tax totalled $115 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
    • Through Public Accounts 2018-19, 15 months of revenue was reported from Jan. 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019.
    • Declaration data is reported by calendar year, and the 2018 calendar year revenue is $58 million.
    • The tax rate on foreign owners and satellite families increases in 2019. As of the First Quarterly Report, the ministry is forecasting revenue of $185 million in 2019-20 and $185 million in 2020-21.
  • Revenue will be used to help fund affordable housing projects where the tax is applied.
  • The average assessed home value of properties subject to the tax is $1.45 million.
  • The average assessed value of properties exempt from the tax in the taxable areas is $1.1 million.
  • 98.9% of the declarations for the SVT have been completed.
  • As of Sept. 3, 2019, 11,783 owners are paying the SVT, including:
    • 4,621 foreign owners
    • 3,060 satellite families
    • 1,519 Canadians living outside of B.C.
    • 2,362 B.C. residents
    • 221 other (such as properties held through corporations and trusts, often with multiple owners)

Learn More:

To learn more about the speculation and vacancy tax, visit:  

To learn more about government’s 30-point plan for housing affordability, visit:

To view additional data and the technical briefing Power Point Presentation, see:


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