Victoria: The B.C. government has expanded its speculation and vacancy tax in the province. 

On Friday, the province said speculation and vacancy tax will now include the municipalities of North Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Lions Bay and Squamish.

According to the province, the purpose of the tax is to help eliminate speculative real-estate practices and turn empty housing into homes for people. 

As per the requirement, property owners in these areas will need to declare in early 2024 how they used their property in 2023. 

“Ninety-nine per cent of people who live in British Columbia can expect to be exempt for the 2023 tax year, but homeowners in these areas will be required to declare for the speculation and vacancy tax,” the province said in a press release. 

“People in our province expect housing to be used as homes, not investments for speculators. The speculation and vacancy tax is making sure homes are available for people, not left empty,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance. 

“That’s why we’re bringing the benefits of this tax to even more communities to ensure more people have the homes they need,” she added. 

“The people who call Duncan home know that we are facing the same housing pressures of larger centres. We need to increase supply and ensure the housing we have is used as homes. The speculation and vacancy tax will help increase the available housing, which is badly needed,” said Michelle Staples, mayor of Duncan. 

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