Surprise, surprise, surprise!! BC Foreign Buyers Tax Amended

(January 30, 2017 )

Ok I'm showing my age with the Gomer Pyle reference but this whole episode strikes me as a comedy.

This was always going to happen when something is introduced hastily, without consultation and for ethnically driven reasons. No, I'm not talking about the Trump Muslim Ban but the BC Foreign Buyers' Tax.  

British Columbia's premier has announced her government is amending its tax on foreigners buying property in Metro Vancouver.

Christy Clark says the levy will be lifted for those who have a work permit and pay taxes in B.C., in order to encourage more people to come to the province. The 15 per cent foreign buyers tax was implemented last August in a bid to cool skyrocketing real estate prices.

Government data released earlier this month shows there was a steep drop in real estate transactions in the Vancouver area last summer after the tax was introduced.

It must have seemed politically clever to diffuse an opposition talking point around affordability for young Vancouverites but it didn't consider the following:
  • the Government effectively chose between generations putting the interests of the next generation over that of the Baby Boomer generation which has the bulk of their retirement in their homes;
  • it may have seemed politically popular but, in intentionally slowing/halting the real estate market, didn't factor in that real estate industry sub-trades and other contractors with empty workbooks tend to vote Governments out;
  • it's un-Canadian to target an ethnic group/s without appropriate nuance to those who are already living and working here, enmeshed in and contributing to Canadian society. BTW in addition to Chinese on work permits who were affected I'm also aware of clients/friends of German, English, South African, Australian, etc descent who were hit with a 15% additional tax.  
Let's face reality. My 3 boys will unlikely be able to afford a single family, detached home in Vancouver (not unless they win the lottery, float a tech company on the NASDAQ or I gift them mine) but that's a product of Vancouver being Vancouver...one of the most beautiful, safe, multiculturally-tolerant cities in the World. By the way, they can't afford to live in New York, San Fran, London, Sydney or Paris either.

No legislation can turn back the hands of time...maybe my Gomer Pyle reference wasn't so far off the mark.

blog comments powered by Disqus