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People with residential properties in some areas with the highest demand in the province will soon receive their 2023 speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) declaration letter.

Homeowners in the Metro Vancouver Regional District, the Capital Regional District, Abbotsford, the District of Mission, Chilliwack, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo and the District of Lantzville will receive their letters by the end of February and have until March 31, 2023, to file.

The tax was introduced in B.C. in 2018 to curb speculation that drives up prices and to encourage people to rent out their vacant homes.

“The speculation and vacancy tax is working. We’ve seen thousands of empty condos return to the rental market in Metro Vancouver alone,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance. “While some would cancel the speculation tax altogether and let speculators back into our housing market, we will be expanding it to additional communities next year, and we’ll continue to strengthen it to help provide much-needed homes for people and families.”

Next year’s SVT communities will include residential property owners in North Cowichan, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, Lions Bay and Squamish. People in those communities will receive their first letter in 2024 when they will need to declare for the first time. This will offer owners with vacant residential properties in the expansion areas time to change the use of their property to help ensure they are eligible for an exemption.

Full Provincial Press Release available here.