It’s the first legal challenge of the B.C. Liberals foreign buyer tax – a class-action lawsuit has been filed in B.C. Supreme Court.
Lawyer Luciana Brasil alleges the tax discriminates against foreign buyers and violates over 30 international treaties.
“And those treaties include provisions that say contracting countries are not to give their citizens or nationals any treatment that is more favourable than those of the other countries. These persons just because of their nationality are now having to get a treatment that is less favourable than a Canadian buying the exact same property.”
READ MORE: B.C. foreign buyers tax kicks in
Brasil says the lead plaintiff is a Chinese University student who is forced to pay $84,000 in additional tax.
She bought a $560,000 dollar home in Langley and could lose her down payment if she doesn’t come up with the additional tax.
“The province here chose to impose the tax based on nationality and country of origin, and that’s essentially an area of federal jurisdiction so they shouldn’t have been able to do that.”
The foreign buyer tax kicked in August 2, adding a 15 per cent property tax on foreign buyers seeking homes in Metro Vancouver.
At the time the tax was introduced, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver told CKNW there had been no warning or consultation by the province on the tax.
None of the allegations has been proven in court and the class-action still has to be certified in order to proceed.