Chilliwack mayor talks land ownership transparency at UBCM

Speaking for the civic government body, Sharon Gaetz urged the province to further enforce tax laws

Chilliwack’s mayor represented the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) this week in that body’s move to urge the provincial government to identify anonymous land speculators and enforce tax laws properly.

In her role as UBCM third vice-president, Mayor Sharon Gaetz spoke at this week’s UBCM convention in Whistler about the provincial government’s draft Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), designed to curb anonymous and speculative investing in real estate.

“We commend the provincial government for beginning to take action to bring greater transparency to home ownership,” Gaetz said about LOTA, which the province is still accepting input on.

“Knowing exactly who is purchasing homes will help ensure that all real estate owners in the province pay their fair share of taxes. Closing loopholes and better transparency will lead to the kind of enforcement needed to slow speculative real estate purchases that are driving up prices in B.C. beyond what people can afford.”

The province outlined LOTA in June, stating it “would create a publicly accessible registry to clearly identify the true, beneficial owners of real estate in the province and prevent investors from hiding behind numbered companies, offshore and domestic trusts, and corporations,” according to the UBCM’s press release issued Monday.

• RELATED: Local governments should get 40 per cent of B.C.’s pot revenue: advocacy group

UBCM’s Special Committee on Housing released a report on B.C.’s housing crisis earlier this year and recommended four key policy shifts:

• a rental housing strategy to address low rental inventories

• a demand management strategy to reduce speculation and tax evasion

• a comprehensive homeless strategy

• a collaborative approach by all levels of government towards housing affordability.

And while UBCM sees aspects of LOTA as a good first step, the body representing B.C.’s municipalities is further urging the provincial and federal governments to work on:

• The publication of aggregate data on pre-sales

• Identifying additional data needs and actions to address tax avoidance in real estate.

• Ensuring better co-ordination of agencies responsible for monitoring and regulating the relations between property transactions and capital flows, including Canada Revenue Agency, FINTRAC, Canada’s banks, and the Real Estate Council of BC.

• RELATED: B.C. keeping purse strings tight as municipalities seek relief


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Bail denied for alleged Chilliwack firearm thief convicted of similar crime in Alberta

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read