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

Chilliwack Chiefs grind out 2-1 win over Langley Rivermen

The BCHL’s top team won their 20th game of the season behind excellent goaltending from Mathieu Caron

Budget process includes community engagement aspect

Deadline is Nov. 28 to offer input into council financial plan considerations for 2019

WATCH: Reaching out to vulnerable in Chilliwack was key at UFV Health and Wellness Fair

UFV students were handing out pizza, naloxone kits, flu shots, toothbrushes, books, clothes and more

Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada arrives in the Fraser Valley

Could the upstart party give the federal Liberals a chance in otherwise safe Conservative ridings?

10 years jail for B.C. man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Ryan Armstrong claimed in Chilliwack court to victim’s family the drug-addled crime was an accident

Feds give formal notice for law to end Canada Post strike

Trudeau government ready to legislate employees back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes

Getzlaf lifts Ducks to 4-3 win over skidding Canucks

Vancouver now winless since Nov. 8

Pressure builds for B.C. to recognize physicians assistants

“We can make a difference and I think we’re being overlooked.”

Senators urge Trump to expedite congressional vote on USMCA

The 12 Republican senators are warning of the dangers of getting the trade pact approved in 2019

Bill just one tool to deter foreign interference in Canadian elections: Gould

Bill C-76 is just one means to deter outside interference in Canadian elections

Investigation into B.C. legislature officers began in January

RCMP brought in months after former prison administrator started

Legal challenge filed over high-stakes competition to design $60B warships

The federal government had originally said it wanted a “mature design” for its new warship fleet, which was widely interpreted as meaning a vessel that has already been built and used by another navy.

‘There has to be accountability’: victims of sterilization demand action

Morningstar Mercredi says she woke up from a surgery at 14 and immediately broke down when she discovered the baby she once felt inside of her was gone.

Former B.C. crime reporter pens debut children’s book

Thom Barker channels his giant dog’s phobias into theme exploring critical thinking

Most Read