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Is a tax on re-selling homes in B.C. within the first two years of ownership a good idea?

Poll: Property flipping tax

New and expanded tax measures, as well as investing in the new BC Builds program are among the province's top housing priorities, according to the NDP government budget unveiled on Thursday.

Budget 2024 features a new tax on flipping homes, expansions on existing tax measures and funding for the recently announced BC Builds program.

All the measures introduced in Budget 2024 are part of the Homes for People plan, which was a key piece of last year’s spending.

B.C. last year dedicated $4.2 billion in funding – the largest three-year housing investment in provincial history – to support affordable housing, build rental supply and tackle homelessness.

Targeting affordability through tax measures

The new BC Home Flipping Tax, which is similar to the Speculation and Vacancy Tax, is aimed at discouraging investors from driving up prices. This will be a tax on the profit made from selling a residential property within two years of buying it. It goes into effect Jan. 1, 2025.

The tax rate will be 20 per cent for properties sold within 365 days of purchase before it begins declining all the way to zero by the 730th day, according to budget documents.

There are exemptions for extenuating circumstances that might motivate a property sale within two years. This includes divorce, death, disability, illness and life changes such as loss of a job, among others.

Revenue gathered from this will go towards building more homes across the province.

“The housing crisis is complex. It’s been made worse by decades of inaction – where governments of all levels left it to the private market to deliver homes. Prices went up as governments stepped back and speculators moved in,” said Finance Minister Katrine Conroy in her budget speech.

“That’s why we’re bringing in a home-flipping tax as our latest measure to crack down on bad actors.”

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