Richmond’s Mayor is standing ground that he’s no fan of the 15 percent foreign buyers tax to cool down Metro Vancouver’s Market, but Malcolm Brodie says if the government is taxing residential property then it should be taxing potential residential land as well.
“I’m no fan of the 15 per cent foreign ownership tax but if you’re going to have that you need to have that on all the residential or potential residential land in your city.”
Brodie says he believes foreign speculators are going to scoop up farms and is calling on the government to level out the playing field and apply the tax to farms.
“As the law is now, is that they can buy a parcel that is being farmed of any size that has no building on it and if it has now residence on it then there’s no 15 per cent tax, they can buy it up and they can build the residence”
“As long as it has no residence on it now, they can put on a residence, they’ve saved the 15 percent tax and on the price of land that can be very considerable.”
He says the lack of tax is an incentive for foreigners to build luxury homes.
The city has sent letters to the Ministry of Agriculture to introduce regulations to control the size of homes built on agricultural land.
Meanwhile, Director of Kwantlen’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems says the government needs to de-commodify Agricultural land.
“If you have the kind of money that it takes to buy land in Metro Vancouver, then that additional 15 per cent is not going to stop your purchase.”
The tax was brought in to cool down Metro Vancouver’s hot housing market.