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Douglas Todd: Thousands of Metro Vancouver mansion owners avoiding taxes

Who will pay the taxes for universities, health care and rapid transit if residents of some of Metro Vancouver’s exclusive neighbourhoods are reporting poverty-level incomes?

Some homeowners in tony parts of the west side of Vancouver and Richmond are claiming to have income as low as people struggling in Vancouver’s chronically poor Downtown Eastside.

The tax unfairness caused by the growing phenomenon of mansion owners alleging poverty can be traced largely to Canada failing to catch trans-national migrants who refuse to report their total global income at tax times.

A study by University of B.C. geographer Dan Hiebert shows the problem is worse in Metro Vancouver than in Montreal and Toronto.

It’s the unintended consequence of Metro becoming a popular destination for those who gained a Canadian passport through the business-investor immigrant program.

Statistics Canada data shows the upscale neighbourhoods in Metro where more than 30 per cent of adults are reporting poverty have a high proportion of immigrants, writes Hiebert.

Full Story Here: http://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/thousands-of-metro-vancouver-mansion-owners-avoiding-taxes

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