Those of us who keep a close eye on the B.C. real estate industry and housing policy were widely anticipating a speculation tax to be introduced in last week’s B.C. Budget, as it had been heavily hinted at by the NDP in advance of the announcement.I was among many who supposed this would take the form of a tax applied upon the sale of a property – say, if a home is flipped by a non-resident within a certain limited time period.
For example, a non-resident (for tax purposes) owner who sells a Vancouver home within a year of buying it would have to pay an additional levy on that sale – a levy that would decline on a sliding scale the longer the home is owned. Such a tax would target actualspeculatorslooking for nothing more than a quick flip, who capitalize on the uplift in value in a rising market within a relatively short time frame. That’s what speculation is, after all.