News 1130: Will a property tax on foreign buyers work?

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July 25, 2016 | Lasia Kretzel and John Ackerman

Quoted from the article:

David Eby is the MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, home to some of the most expensive properties in the region, so he knows the issue well.

“You can tell it’s summer weather because the BC Liberals have their flip-flops on today.”

While he’s happy to see the Liberal government take action, he wonders how a tax on foreign home buyers would work.

“The problem is going to be enforceability. The concern we have is that they’re going to capture a lot of people who come to Metro Vancouver as skilled workers, they’re paying their taxes here, they want to become citizens here, and now they have an additional 15 per cent tax to pay.”

Eby is not confident it will have much of an impact, pointing out widespread evasion of a similar tax in Australia.

Instead, he is backing a private member’s bill that proposes taxing everyone who buys and own property locally but doesn’t pay their worldwide income tax here.

“It’s a much better measure and we wish they would do it. It’s why it’s been endorsed by 40 economists from SFU and UBC and we hope they’ll still look at it.”

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