Province adds water-access only exemption to Speculation and Vacancy Tax

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VICTORIA ­– Today Minister Carole James announced that the province would be adding a water-access only exemption to the speculation and vacancy tax (SVT).

“When we introduced the speculation and vacancy tax, Metro Vancouver was at the peak of a real estate crisis – people could not find homes where they live and work,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “We talked to local leaders, communities and those impacted by the housing crisis, to take a close look at how we can build on our successes and make improvements– the water-access only exemption was one of those improvements”

Owners that have residential properties that cannot be accessed by road and are not within a short walking distance to a public or private road will be exempt from paying the tax. This change is retroactive to the 2018 tax year.

“After the BC Liberals let speculators and even money launderers drive up the price of homes by over 75% in our community, community members have asked for bold action to tackle the housing crisis and for government to improve upon existing measures,” said MLA Rick Glumac. “The province listened to feedback on the tax that I provided from my community, as well as input from across the province. Today’s water-access only exemption is the result.”

Based on the data from the first year, more than 99.8% of British Columbians are exempt from the SVT, while foreign owners, satellite families and Canadians living outside the province are contributing 90% of the revenue. In its first year, the tax has raised $115 million to fund affordable housing projects in communities where the tax applies.

For the full details of today’s announcement, visit: