BC speculation and vacancy tax expanded to Lions Bay, Squamish
At a glance (2 minute read)
- The BC Speculation and Vacancy Tax has expanded to include Lions Bay and Squamish in Metro Vancouver and Duncan, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, and North Cowichan on Vancouver Island.
- Home owners in these newly taxable areas will need to declare the 2023 use of their property in early 2024.
The BC Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT) applies to:
- Municipalities in the Capital Regional District;
- Municipalities in the Metro Vancouver Regional District;
- City of Abbotsford;
- City of Chilliwack;
- City of Duncan;
- City of Kelowna;
- City of West Kelowna;
- City of Ladysmith;
- Town of Lake Cowichan;
- Municipality of North Cowichan;
- District of Lantzville;
- District of Mission;
- City of Nanaimo; and
- District of Squamish.
SVT new areas
- In Metro Vancouver, the SVT has been extended to Lions Bay and Squamish.
- On Vancouver Island, the SVT has been extended to Duncan, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan and North Cowichan.
Home owners in these newly taxable areas will need to declare in early 2024, based on the use of their property in 2023.
Ninety-nine per cent of BC residents living in their homes will be exempt for the 2023 tax year, but must make a declaration in early 2024.
Residential property owners not currently using their property may still be eligible for an exemption next year.
For example, owners who rent their home six or more months each year, for at least a month at a time, may be eligible. Home owners using their property as a principal residence who pay their taxes in BC are also eligible for exemption.
- An estimated 48,000 residential property owners in these new areas will declare for the first time, starting January 2024.
- In the 2023 tax year, there are 46 communities with the SVT.
- Approximately 1.7 million declarations will be completed as part of the 2024 SVT declaration period that will begin in January 2024.
Purpose of the SVT
The government’s stated purpose of the SVT is to stop real estate speculation and help increase available housing in areas with low vacancy rates.
The SVT has helped turn approximately 20,000 empty condos into homes in Metro Vancouver, according to the BC Ministry of Finance.
SVT revenue is directed into regions where the tax applies. Since 2018, the SVT has raised more than $313 million to help build new, more affordable types of housing.
Read the government news release on the expansion of the SVT.