By Umendra Singh
The 15 percent tax being applied to foreign home buyers in Metro Vancouver from August 2 is a desperate attempt by the governing BC Liberals to impress upon voters that they are doing something about the inability of locals to purchase homes.
In fact, it is a hollow measure.
What is a 15 percent surcharge for foreign millionaires and billionaires who are using our real estate as commodity or for criminals to launder ill-gotten cash? NOTHING !!!
They were buying when prices of homes were 25 percent less. And they will continue buying why the prices of homes in Metro Canada is 25 percent higher than current price. What is a mere 15 percent tax she foreigners can hide or launder or invest their money here? There is no other place like this in the world.
BC Liberals, eyeing a general election next year and an angry group of a middle class voters, want to be seem to be doing something. Even if what they are doing is not going to help the middle class.
The 15 percent tax will help the BC government grab more cash than ever in property transfer tax. The government reported last week that it had received $730 million more in property transfer tax than it had estimated. Now that number will jump with the 15 percent tax on foreign buyers. Premier Christie Clark said her government will use the revenue from the 15 percent tax to build more affordable housing.
How is that going to help those local who can’t buy homes in Metro Vancouver? It won’t.
This measure will help the government get more revenue with which it will build housing of those who are dependant on free or government housing.
It will not help those in the middle class who are looking to purchase homes.