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How the NDP / Green Party Will Help Vancouver Real Estate


Blog by Stu Bell | May 31st, 2017


There is a lot of noise regarding the recent Provincial election and how it will effect our local real estate market. Two opposing parties are teaming together to make change, Green and NDP.

The NDP Green Party goal is to increase affordability which may be hard given how beautiful our city is and how mild the climate is year round. Vancouver's population continues to grow and grow.

This new coalition is aiming to protect land and restrict development. This will be good for our environment and attract more wildlife to our shores. The government is proposing to increase regulation on foreign buyers with the following restrictions, mostly good in my opinion. Here are the details:


TAXES – REAL ESTATE/ HOUSING

NDP

  • Institute an annual $400 renter’s rebate
  • Introduce an annual 2% absentee speculators’ tax
  • Establish a multi-agency task force to fight tax fraud and money laundering in the BC real estate market
  • Pass legislation requiring fair tenant treatment during renovations and demolitions of rental property
  • Build more affordable rental, non-profit, co-op and other housing units over 10 years

GREEN

  • Expand the foreign buyers tax across the province and increase it to 30%
  • Tax capital gains in excess of $750,000 on principal residences for homes owned for less than 5 years
  • Make the home owner grant income based (no details provided)
  • Introduce a “progressive property tax system”

HOUSING – SUPPLY

NDP

  • Build 114,000 affordable rental, non-profit, co-op and owner-purchase housing units through partnerships, over 10 years. These homes will be a mix of housing for students, singles, seniors, and families and will range from supported social housing to quality, market rental housing
  • Change regulations to allow colleges and universities to build affordable on- and near-campus rental housing, and ensure student renters receive the renter’s rebate of $400 per year
  • Build near transit hubs in urban and suburban centers. Use public land to build housing that British Columbians can afford

GREEN

  • Invest $750 million to support construction of approximately 4000 new units of affordable housing per year
  • Protect existing social housing and reduce operating costs by investing $100 million/year in retrofits and renovations of older units
  • Introduce incentives for construction and/or conversion of existing buildings for rental property
  • Work with social and Indigenous housing agencies and federal and local governments to develop and implement a provincial housing plan to address deficiencies in the supply of affordable rental accommodation based on priority needs

HOUSING – TAX INITIATIVES

NDP

  • Introduce a 2% absentee owner speculators’ tax into a Housing Affordability Fund

GREEN

  • Enhance progressive nature of property transfer tax (PTT) by introducing a sliding scale from 0% on the first $200,000 for a property’s value, to 12% on properties valued over $3 million
  • Apply the PTT to the transfer of beneficial ownership
  • Introduce a speculation PTT to discourage “flipping”
  • Expand the foreign buyers’ tax to apply across the province, and increase the rate to 30%
  • Introduce measures to curtail lifetime capital gains tax exemption in excess of $750,000 on principal residences
  • Introduce a progressive property tax system that imposes a surtax based on property value and allows homeowners to credit rental income and their previous year’s BC income tax against the surtax

HOUSING – AFFORDABILITY & HOUSING AID

NDP

  • Provide a refundable renter’s rebate of $400 per rental household in BC each year
  • Pass legislation requiring fair treatment during renovations and demolitions of rental properties

GREEN

  • Begin the transition from home owner grants (HOG) to a system of income-based grants, starting in 2019
  • Enhance the provisions of the Residential Tenancy Act to control rent increases, and to protect tenants from tenure termination that will result in the loss of affordable accommodation
  • Work with BC Housing to enable the inclusion of private rental properties in their directly managed portfolio of affordable accommodation
  • Maintain or enhance existing housing support programs in the context of the suite of initiatives to address income insecurity

AGRICULTURAL LAND RESERVE

NDP

  • “…revitalize the land reserve and the Agricultural Land Commission…”

GREEN

  • Enhance protection of farm land and increase proportion of ALR land in use for agricultural purposes

LAND USE PLANNING

NDP

  • Modernize land-use planning to sustainably manage ecosystems, rivers, lakes, watersheds, forests and old growth forests, while accounting for cumulative effects. Take an evidence-based scientific approach and use the ecosystem-based management of the Great Bear Rainforest as a model
  • Expand the role of the BC Geological Survey (BCGS) and use GeoScience and BCGS data to inform land use planning initiatives in partnership with First Nations

TAXES – BUSINESS TAXES

NDP

  • Corporate income tax rises to 12% from 11%
  • Match federally mandated carbon price increases to 2022
  • Cut small business tax rate to 2%
  • Promise to freeze BC Hydro rates; presumably also applies to businesses(although this is not specified)
  • MSP premiums will be eliminated by end of the first term (benefitting employers who pay these for their employees)

GREEN

  • Corporate tax rate up to 12%, from 11%
  • Increase the carbon tax by $10 per year for 4 years (starting in 2018)
  • Eliminate “boutique tax credits”
  • Extend carbon tax to fugitive and vented emissions (starting at $10/ton)
  • Apply carbon tax to slash pile burning
  • Work with the federal government to streamline business and consumption taxes over time
  • Roll MSP premiums into payroll and income taxes (this likely would impose new costs on employers)

TAXES – PERSONAL TAXES

NDP

  • Increase taxes on individuals with incomes over $150,000
  • Keep Budget 2017’s 50% reduction in MSP premiums. Fully eliminate premiums within 4 years, and establish a panel to advise how to protect health care funding and provide needed revenues
  • “Freeze BC Hydro rates” (likely for 1 year, but the platform does not specify)
  • When carbon taxes rise to match federal mandate, rebates will be provided to 80% of families

GREEN

  • Establish a working group to develop proposals to overhaul the tax system
  • Increase share of tax contributed by those earning over $108,460 per year (by 1% in 2017/18, rising to 3% in 2020/21)
  • Roll MSP premiums into payroll tax and personal income taxes
  • Introduce a sliding scale for Property Transfer Tax (PTT) from 0% to 12%
  • Introduce a “Speculation PTT”

Source: https://www.cwilson.com/ndpgreen-platform-relating-real-estate/