Proposed class action against B.C. says foreign buyers' tax unconstitutional

Proposed class action against B.C. says foreign buyers' tax unconstitutional

Proposed class action against B.C. says foreign buyers A proposed class-action lawsuit says British Columbia's 15-per-cent tax on foreign nationals who buy homes in the Vancouver area is unfairly prejudiced against people from Asia, who have historically faced discrimination in the province.

Amended documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court last week argue the so-called foreign-buyers' tax is unconstitutional because it violates equality rights by making an ``arbitrary'' distinction between those who are citizens and permanent residents of Canada and those who are not.

The lawsuit, which was originally filed in September, says the tax unfairly assumes foreign nationals are wealthier than Canadians, and argues it violates dozens of international treaties guaranteeing equal treatment to non-Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The B.C. government introduced the foreign-buyers' tax last summer in an effort to quell Metro Vancouver's overheated real-estate market, which saw July prices for detached homes soar 38 per cent over a single year.

The representative plaintiff in the proposed class action is Jing Li, a Chinese national who learned she would have to pay an additional $83,000 on a $587,000 home in Langley that she agreed to purchase days before the government announced the new tax.

Earlier this year, Premier Christy Clark tweaked the rules around the law exempting anyone living in B.C. on a work permit and who pays taxes in the province.

Canadian Press
  • Joel Sida 2017-03-06 4:08:03 PM
    It's called Foreign buyers tax and it's affecting all nationalities from people trying to move to Vancouver from the U.S., Asia, Europe, etc
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  • Peter Pasula 2017-03-06 4:31:39 PM
    They actually announced a tweak to the tax in January to allow work permits but haven't followed through with it yet. Nobody seems to know when this will take affect, it's not an election issue so low priority but looked really good when announced.
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  • John Martin 2017-03-07 10:10:22 AM
    Lets be real here. There is no viable bases for this frivolous suit. These pacific foreign nationals are wealthier than most Canadians. Speculative investor's exactly like the plaintiff here don't get there own way and have the money to try and change the the rules. Which by the way were put in place for very good reason. Foreign nationals exactly like the one mentioned in this article that have turned real estate ownership upside down and out of control in Canada for normal hard working Canadians. Should have been addressed a long time ago, but was ignored by all levels of government. Which is typical of elected officials afraid to stand up and be counted for on behalf of the Canadian people who elected them into office. Who knows, maybe some government officials in BC have finally come to their senses and said enough is enough. Let's hope so!
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