Housing costs pose a significant challenge for Lower Mainland households. Among the factors contributing to price growth is the inflow of money into the local housing market. We propose a B.C. Housing Affordability Fund (BCHAF) that delivers cash to BC residents, paid for by property owners with limited residential or economic ties to B.C. The BCHAF will make British Columbia a better place to live and work, by making B.C. a less attractive target for investors who wish to avoid taxation or park cash in residential real estate.
Description and Precedent
The BCHAF will be funded by a new 1.5% property surcharge on residential real estate. The revenues will then be distributed as lump-sum payments to all Canadian tax filers in any area included. The tax would target owners of vacant properties and those with limited economic or social ties to Canada. All other owners will be exempt. The proposed BCHAF contribution structure would provide broader exemptions than those under the Home Owner's Grant, by allowing non-resident landlords and not-yet-landed immigrants with taxable Canadian earnings to claim exclusions
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