Top 12 Things to take away from the 2018 BC Government Budget Review
After the 2018 Budget review the BC Government announced the following changes related to Housing
Starting this year, the provincial government will apply a 0.5% speculation tax on homes owned by people who don’t pay taxes in British Columbia. The tax goes up to 2% in 2019 and will stay at that rate going forward. It is expected to bring in $87 million this year. There is an exemption for principal residences and properties that have long-term renters. At first, it will apply to Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Kelowna and West Kelowna, Nanaimo and the Victoria region.
The fallout from the B.C. government’s budget continues as out-of-province Canadians found out they will also be hit by the same tax that’s intended to dissuade foreign speculators from pillaging the domestic real estate market.
Foreign Buyers Tax going up
The tax applies on all applicable transfers registered with the Land Title Office. This foreign buyers tax was introduced in August 2016. Starting Wednesday it is increasing from 15% to 20% of the purchase price.
Currently this new tax applies only in the Vancouver region, but will now be extended to the Fraser Valley, the Victoria region, Nanaimo and the Okanagan.
Foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver
Percentage of real estate purchases in Metro Vancouver involving buyers who weren't Canadian citizens, permanent residents or who don't have work permits
Property Transfer Tax up
The property transfer tax continues to be a cash cow for the province. The province is expected to collect $2.23 billion this year from the tax after bringing in $1.6 billion last year. The province is also increasing the tax on properties over $3 million from 3% to 5%.
Closing housing loopholes
The NDP was highly critical in opposition of the loopholes that were being exploited in the overheated housing market. Now in government, the NDP will try to close some of the loopholes by creating a database on pre-sale condo assignments, stopping numbered companies from owning homes and deal with mega-homes built on Agriculture Land Reserve Land.
Elimination of the BC First Time Home Buyers Down Payment Assistance Program (BC Home Partnership Program)
Created by the former Liberal government in December 2016 and intended to run until 2020. The BC Home Partnership Program (HPP) offered down payment assistance for prospective homebuyers in the form of a second loan, with interest and payments deferred for five years. They will stop receiving application for this program March 31, 2018.
Here is a list of the remaining 7 things that can be taken away from the 2018 Budget Announcements
Eliminating MSP by 2020
The province will start collecting an Employer Health Tax in 2019 to work towards getting rid of the Medical Service Plan premiums by 2020. Most businesses will be required to pay the new tax, with bigger companies paying more than smaller companies.
Affordable Child Care benefit
The province is providing support to parents who have their children in licensed child care facilities. A new credit will see up to $350 per month go directly into licensed child care that will see the savings passed onto parents.
Fair PharmaCare program
Health Minister Adrian Dix had previously announced B.C.’s Fair PharmaCare program to eliminate deductibles for families with annual incomes below $30,000. The funding for that program was unveiled in Tuesday’s budget.
Shelter aid for elderly renters
Low-income seniors are going to benefit from an increase to the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program and Rental Assistance Program. The province is pledging $116 million over three years to the benefit, while raising the ceiling to include those who have annual households incomes of $40,000, up from $35,000.
Fire recovery funding
After an historic fire season that cost the province $648 million to fight, the government is pitching in another $72 million for a fire recovery fund.
Indigenous Skills Training Program
The province is spending $201 million over three years for an Indigenous Skills Training Program and Aboriginal Friendship Centres. There will also be $50 million in 2017/18 to revitalize Indigenous languages.”
Luxury tax on cars
If you are in the market for a high-end car in B.C, get ready to pay a little more. The province is doubling the tax on the purchase of cars worth more than $150,000 to 20 per cent. The measure will bring in an estimated $10 million.