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BC Property Transfer Tax Revenue Up 43.9% to $1.53b

By Christina Newberry July 22, 2016

BC’s 2015-16 public accounts, released July 21, show the provincial government brought in $1.53 billion in property transfer tax in the fiscal year ended March 31, an increase of 43.9 per cent over the previous year and $605 million more than budgeted, forming a substantial portion of the province’s total surplus of $730 million.

Overall provincial revenues "increased by $1.5 billion or 3.2% compared to the previous year, mainly due to taxation revenue,” the province said in a news release.

Property transfer tax revenue "increased by $468 million (43.9%) due to stronger housing sales and increased property values,” the province noted in its financial statement discussion and analysis report.

In its 2016-17 budget, released in February, the province anticipated $1.2 billion in property transfer tax revenue for the current fiscal year, which will end March 31, 2017. This estimate was based on “an anticipated slowing of market activity and assuming a portion of the strong revenues received in 2015/16 do not carry forward,” according to the budget and fiscal plan. However, updated estimates to be released in September are expected to increase the anticipated amount.