Vancity Buzz: Rich homeowners in B.C. aren’t paying their property taxes, and it’s 100% legal

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Vancity Buzz | Jill Slattery | January 07 2015

Quoted from the article:

The purpose of the program is a sound one, says NDP MLA David Eby, a critic of the B.C. Liberal’s affordable housing legislation. It is supposed to ensure that seniors and others on fixed incomes aren’t forced out of their homes due to property tax increases when their home value grows. But, the program was designed in the 1970s for the realities of the 1970s real estate market, which is very different than it is now in 2016, adds Eby.

While Eby says there are flaws with the program itself, most notably that it is not at all based on proven financial need, he blames the province’s inaction toward affordable housing as the reason why the program is being taken advantage of.

“Like the shortage of rental housing, like the unaffordability of housing, and the increase of homelessness, the province needs to start fixing the programs from the 1970s to fit with 2016,” he told Vancity Buzz.

“When you look at the action the government has taken to address out of control housing prices, two days ago they gave a break on property taxes to people who were buying $1.2 million homes. And this program, they provide less than 1% interest-rate loans to people who could potentially be earning millions of dollars a year so they don’t have to pay their property taxes. If student loans were at this property tax deferral rate, they’d be in a much better position financially. But students aren’t the priority.”

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