Leading up to the May 9 election, the BC Green Party has released its platform on housing. The focus of the party’s Affordable Homes Strategy is to “cool the overheated housing market, increase the availability of affordable housing, and provide greater protections for renters,” according to a statement.
The platform includes significant changes to the Property Transfer Tax (PTT), foreign buyers tax, and homeowner grant.
If elected, the Green Party’s plan would eliminate the PTT on the portion of a home’s value up to $200,000 but quadruple the tax on the value over $3 million, from 3 per cent to 12 per cent. The entire breakdown of proposed PPT changes is as follows:
|Portion of Property Value||Current PTT Rate||BC Green Party Proposed PTT Rate|
|Up to $200,000||1%||0%|
|$200,001 to $500,000||2%||3%|
|$500,001 to $1,000,000||2%||3%|
|$1,000,001 to $2,000,000||2%||5%|
|$2,000,001 to $3,000,000||3%||10%|
|More than $3,000,000||3%||12%|
The total PTT on a North Vancouver townhouse priced at the median March 2017 value of $979,500 would decrease slightly, from $17,590 to $15,590, while the PTT on a West Vancouver single-family home priced at the median value of $3.5 million would increase from $83,000 to $236,000, the party’s analysis shows.
The party would also introduce a separate “speculation” PTT to “discourage flipping of property,” according to the statement.
“The first job of the housing market must be to provide homes for the people who live here, not investment for those wealthy enough to speculate on it,” said BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver in the statement.
The foreign buyers’ tax would increase from 15 to 30 percent, and would be expanded to apply across the entire province. The tax currently applies only to properties in Metro Vancouver.
The platform also includes plans to transition the homeowner grant to an income-based grant system starting in 2019.
Additional elements of the strategy include a new tax on lifetime capital gains over $750,000 on principal residences and an annual surtax based on property value.