Speculation and Vacancy Tax In Around Town

November 30, 2023

Your Weekly Construction Briefing

The province is expanding the speculation and vacancy tax to include 13 more municipalities, including Cumberland, Courtenay, Comox, Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

This map shows where the Vacancy Tax currently applies, including Metro Vancouver, Victoria and other parts of southern Vancouver Island.

The expansion is part of B.C.’s Homes for People plan, and was one of several recommendations in a review of the tax in Metro Vancouver in 2022. That report suggested the tax created 20,000 homes.

Expansion communities were chosen based on a variety of factors, including vacancy rates, housing prices, population, and the percentage of homeowners who don’t live in the municipality. In the City of Courtenay, the vacancy rate is 0.8% while 3.1% of private dwellings are reported as vacant. 

This is the second time the province has expanded the vacancy tax, and it now applies to a total of 59 communities.

In January 2025, all owners of residential property in taxable areas will be required to declare their residency status and how their property has been used in 2024. The tax will range from 0.5% to 2% of the properties assessed value.

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