A new tax slapped on out-of-province purchasers of real estate has the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) adding its two cents to the conversation the move has created. The board president believes the tax will create hardship in the Okanagan real estate economy as well as in other British Columbia locations. The perceived unintended consequences the tax may create — particularly towards Albertans who own property in B.C. — is concerning.
Non-B.C. residents may either be forced to rent out their properties, which would make it difficult for them to use themselves, or they may have to contribute more taxes to the B.C. economy. If these properties are rented out, it may affect businesses in the valley since homeowners buy goods and use services. Businesses like restaurants, gas stations and corner stores could feel the pinch.
The tax is intended to lower house prices in the province, particularly in the lower mainland. However, the tax may actually be more detrimental to the province overall, business experts say. OMREB’s president feels the solution to B.C.’s housing woes lies less in taxation and more in working in tandem with governments to address real estate issues like building permit timelines. Addressing issues that will get the industry moving forward more rapidly may be more prudent.
British Columbia residents who are thinking about purchasing or selling real estate may benefit from the astute legal wisdom of a lawyer experienced in real estate law. It is part of a lawyer’s job to be knowledgeable about current laws and how they may affect clients. A lawyer would always work to protect a client’s best interests in any contractual agreements.
Source: kelownacapitalnews.com, “Real estate board wades into speculation tax debate“, March 7, 2018