Cover letter for Adam Olsen - Foreign Buyers Tax- November 16, 2018
November 16th 2018.
Communication re Foreign Buyers Tax as it applies to Saturna Island.
Saturna Island Rate Payers and Residents (SIRRA) has been moved to raise awareness
of the issue of application of the Foreign Buyers Tax to Saturna.
As you may know the Gulf Islands were subsequently exempted from the
Speculation Tax brought in under the February 2 2018 provincial budget. However, a
remaining consequence to the February budget that continues to affect the Gulf
Islands is the so-called Foreign Buyers Tax which imposes an additional 20% to the BC
Property Transfer Tax on residential properties. The hefty additional tax applies to
any person who is not a Canadian citizen, and to any corporation that is foreign
registered or controlled.
Specifically, it means that citizens of the USA and elsewhere, cannot purchase
property on Saturna without paying a total property transfer tax that ranges
between 21% -22% (technically a maximum of 25%) on the fair market value of a
In many ways, the additional transfer tax is essentially the same impediment to
Saturna's economic well-being as was the Speculation Tax (although this tax will not
apply to residents of other provinces of Canada). It appears that at least 2 property
sales did not proceed once the buyers became aware of the tax.
SIRRA carried out a poll of its members (roughly 200 e-mails were sent to advise
members of the survey) who voted decisively that SIRRA take action about this tax in
the form of letters to the appropriate parties, and other actions as needed.
Please see the attached letter which was sent (on Nov 16th) by SIRRA to Adam Olsen
(MLA), copying The Honourable Carole James, BC Minister of Finance and The
Honourable John Horgan, Premier of BC.