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

B.C. reservists gather for military communications training in Chilliwack

Canadian Army’s communication skills are used in battle as well as domestic emergencies

VIDEO: ‘Heroes’ rescue teenager trapped in vehicle in water-filled ditch in Chilliwack

Two men sprang into action, holding 17-year-old’s head out of water as they pried open door

Sarah Wark rallies to beat Prince Edward Island at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark wasn’t at the top of her game, but her team did enough to improve to 6-3 overall.

GW Graham junior boys play underdog role at basketball provincials

One of two at-large seeds in the 32 team field, the Grizzlies face a tough opponent out of the gate.

Unfinished business for GW Graham basketball Grizzlies at AA provincials

GWG’s senior girls squad advanced to the final before losing in 2018 and look to win it all in 2019.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

Northern B.C. train derailment due to broken axle could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Most Read