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Foreign buyers tax changes getting thumbs up

Last Updated Mar 20, 2017 at 11:27 am PDT

(iStock image)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s a good thing. That’s what a local real estate expert is saying about changes being made to Metro Vancouver’s foreign buyers’ tax — less than a year after it took effect.

“These are skilled workers whose bosses had to show a reason why they were hiring them instead of somebody else. They’re here to be part of the workforce.”

Tom Davidoff with the UBC Sauder School of Business says employees coming here through the BC Provincial Nominee Program should have been exempted right from the start.

“We have a terrific opportunity with Trumpism to the South to create a really vibrant economy centred on skilled workers. Turning them off to BC with a tax when they buy a house doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think this exception was a good one.”

Davidoff also says he supports the exemption for skilled workers coming here because it’s pretty hard for them to fake it.

“The general work permit exemption may have been too broad because if you have a daughter or son who’s here or say, at UBC or Simon Fraser, they can get study work permits and you know, you might have the example of the family buying a 30-million dollar mansion in the name of a child who’s earning 100 dollars on a work permit. That would be an inappropriate exemption.”

However, Davidoff says he’s still not keen on the 15 per cent tax being tied to whether you’re a Canadian citizen.

The tax which has been in effect since August has had such an impact cooling down Lower Mainland housing sales, Victoria is expected to be next.