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Victoria council votes for 15 per cent foreign buyers tax

Council votes to impose same 15 per cent tax in effort to cool hot Victoria market

Victoria city council has voted in favour of implementing a foreign buyers tax similar to the one implemented in Metro Vancouver in August 2016.

The successful vote, which passed five to three, means the city will ask the province to immediately impose the same 15 per cent tax to Victoria.

The province will ultimately decide whether or not the tax will be implemented.

Victoria has debated the foreign buyers tax issue for months as a way to grapple with Victoria’s escalating real estate prices.

Effort to cool market

Supporters of the 15 per cent tax say it cooled the real estate market in Vancouver.

The number of transactions involving foreign buyers dropped in the weeks after the tax, and home sales cooled in the Vancouver market.

On April 20, Ontario’s provincial government revealed its own 15 per cent foreign buyers tax in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area to help cool the overheated Toronto real estate market.

Not everyone on board

Not everyone is on board with the tax in Victoria.

Victoria City Councillor Geoff Young voted against the tax, saying he is concerned about the way it targets foreigners.

“It brings back memories of the [Chinese] head tax of many years which in some ways was a response to the economic concerns of people who were competing for jobs,” he said.

He also has concerns about the effectiveness of the tax.

Source: CBC News

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