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Squamish falls under speculation and vacancy tax requirements for first time in 2024

Homeowners will receive letters with instructions on how to declare in coming weeks.
The provincial government says that the "speculation and vacancy tax is designed to turn vacant homes into housing for people in British Columbia, and ensure foreign owners and those with primarily foreign income contribute fairly to B.C.'s tax system."

Speculation and vacancy tax declarations will be required for Squamish for the first time in 2024.

According to a release from the BC Ministry of Finance, Squamish is one of six new communities that are included in the province's efforts to crack down on real estate speculation. 

Homeowners will be receiving letters from the government with instructions on how to file their declarations before the March 31 deadline.

"The speculation and vacancy tax helps curb real estate speculation and encourages people to return empty homes to the market for people in B.C. to rent or buy," reads the release, which adds that 99% of properties in B.C. are exempt, although all owners with residential properties in the taxable areas must declare. 

"The majority of property owners who use their unit as a principal home, rent it out for more than six months of the year, or meet other exemption criteria do not have to pay the tax."

If an owner is not exempt, they must pay the assessed amount by the first business day in July. A penalty may apply to those who do not pay by the due date.

The tax applies to 59 municipalities across the province, and in 2022 raised more than $81 million, which, according to the province, is plowed back into affordable housing in the areas affected by the tax.

Meaning, taxes raised get used to build more housing.

The speculation and vacancy tax is designed to discourage speculation and encourage homeowners to rent out their property. 

Squamish joins North Cowichan, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, and Lions Bay in the 2024 taxes, and the list of municipalities affected by the tax will increase by 13 new communities in 2025 as it rolls out.


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