A massive surge in property transfer tax has left the province’s coffers fuller than expected, and more help could be coming from the province to deal with housing affordability.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the B.C. government plans to unveil details next week to possibly spend some of the property transfer tax money on housing affordability.
B.C. government numbers show $605-million more in property transfer tax has been collected than was forecast in the budget.
That, as the number of properties sold in B.C. last soared by 18.6%, with property values up 20.9%.
At the same time, de Jong has also released government financials from last year.
He says B.C. is ending the fiscal year with a surplus of $730-million – the bulk of that real estate driven.
Total provincial debt increased by $2.4-billion.
The B.C. economy grew by an estimated three per cent in 2015, more than triple the national average.
Resource cash down
For the second year in a row, provincial income from natural resources has fallen, dipping to just under $2.6-billion, down from nearly $3-billion in 2013-2014.
The dip was led by a retreat in petroleum, natural gas and mineral revenues, which were down $464-million from 2014/15.
Forestry revenue, on the other hand was up $111-million.