Some of those who’ve had to pay a 15% foreign buyer tax on real estate in Metro Vancouver may be in for a respite. The Government of British Columbia is considering rebates of the six-month-old levy to those who obtained Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status shortly after buying a home, the Vancouver Sun reported.
“It’s one of the things that has been presented that we’re looking at, in terms of someone who has made a purchase and then in a very short period of time meets the criteria and acquires the status whereby they wouldn’t have had to pay the tax,” Finance Minister Michael de Jong said in an interview with the Vancouver Sun on Wednesday.
Last week, Premier Christy Clark announced that the tax will be lifted to those who have a work permit and pay taxes in B.C. The move came as a reaction to U.S. President Donald Tump’s temporary ban on refugees and travellers from several Muslim-majority countries.
De Jong said the government has no plans of changing the rate or expanding the tax outside Metro Vancouver.
The foreign buyer tax took effect August last year. The government said it is meant to help manage foreign demand while new homes are built to meet local needs. Government data showed foreign nationals were involved in 13.2% of property transfers in Metro Vancouver from June 10 to August 1 last year. The rate fell to 3% in October.
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