Finance Minister Carole James presents her latest budget to the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2019. (B.C. government)

B.C. speculation tax holdouts should talk to city hall, minister says

Deadline to file exemption was April 1, bills start going out in June

Urban B.C. property owners who didn’t get around to filling out their speculation tax declaration form by April 1 can expect to get a bill in June, but they can still register and escape the additional property tax for 2019.

Finance Minister Carole James says there will also be an opportunity for hardship cases to appeal to the local government in affected cities, and those will be reviewed when James meets with mayors this summer.

The finance ministry reports that more than 90 per cent of affected property owners have registered, and most of those won’t pay because they own only their principal residence or rent out additional properties for at least six months of the year.

People who missed the registration deadline can still do the declaration online, or ask questions by emailing spectaxinfo@gov.bc.ca or calling toll-free 1-833-554-2323 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.

Even if they receive a bill because of late registration, they won’t have to pay if they qualify for the exemption, James said. And those who have a case that the tax is an undue burden should take it up with their municipal council.

“That’s exactly why we have meetings with the mayors, so we can have those conversations,” James told reporters at the B.C. legislature Wednesday. “And as I’ve said all along, if changes need to be made, if there’s a good case for taking a look at that, we’ll take a look at that.”

READ MORE: Seniors with unrentable cabins face big tax bills

COLUMN: Negative-option billing for speculation tax unpopular

Waterfront cabin owners from Belcarra came to the B.C. legislature in March to protest that rising land values captured their rustic retreats, despite a lack of road access and water service that makes them unable to be rented.

After protests from urban municipalities and extended negotiations between the NDP government and the B.C. Green Party, the property tax now applies only to Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the municipalities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Kelowna and West Kelowna.

The rate was reduced to 0.5 per cent of property value for all Canadian owners at the insistence of B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver, who earlier objected to it being applied to rural vacation homes in the Gulf Islands.

For foreign owners and “satellite families,” where much of the household income is not taxed in Canada, the rate is two per cent of the assessed value.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Town council votes to reclassify LB Warner lot for residential use

Smithers just got one step closer to more affordable housing, but there are still many to go

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

A medical first saved Ryan Jones’ life

The 25-year-old Smithers man is almost fully recovered after being effectively dead.

Steelheads recruiting event shows promise

A small but enthusiastic group of organizers is hoping to put a Smithers team back in the CIHL

Fletcher disregards facts on climate action

Letter writer Macrae says inaction jeopardizes jobs

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Canfor curtailing operations across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read