West Vancouver Property Tax is one of the most important considerations when purchasing property in the Vancouver area. With the cost of living and home prices rising, property taxes are a major factor in determining whether or not a buyer is able to make the purchase. Luckily, there are ways to keep property taxes as low as possible while still having access to the benefits of owning a home.
Increase in home prices
The West Vancouver property tax has been a major driver in an increase in home prices. Experts and politicians alike have weighed in on the issue. While some argue that foreign money floods into the city, others say that high rents and other factors justify the value of land.
One of the most intriguing facts about the real estate market in the Metro Vancouver region is that its price growth has begun to slow. In October, the sales-to-active listings ratio reached 19.3 per cent. This is well above the 12-percent threshold that analysts say is usually a trigger for home prices to begin to fall.
Meanwhile, condominium prices have been steadily rising. Prices have increased for four consecutive months. However, the increase has stalled in most submarkets.
Currently, there are 9,852 properties for sale in the Metro Vancouver area. This is a 22.6 percent increase compared to September of 2021.
Home prices in the city are still not affordable to most residents. The median cost of owning a home in Vancouver is about 90 percent of the city’s average income.
Despite the rising costs, the demand for homes is slightly higher than in years past. However, the number of available properties for sale is far below the long-term trend.
There is a need to create more housing in the area. However, policies must focus on increasing local incomes and creating subsidized housing for the poor.
Until then, Vancouver’s housing affordability problem could be a harbinger for other cities.
Capital gains tax exemption
If you are looking to sell your home in BC, you will need to be aware of the Capital gains tax. This can be a complicated process. It can be a good idea to seek the advice of a real estate agent or accountant.
The amount of tax you have to pay can vary depending on the location of your property. It is also important to determine if you qualify for the capital gains tax exemption.
One of the best ways to avoid paying the dreaded capital gains tax is to sell your home after January 1 of the current year. That way, you have a full financial year to pay the taxes. Also, you may have the opportunity to receive a long repayment period.
There are many types of properties that are sold for profit every day. Real estate represents the largest asset for most Canadians. Homeowners have the potential to make hundreds of thousands of dollars tax free.
One of the ways to get this is to use the deeming rule. Essentially, you can apply losses from previous years to reduce your taxable gain.
For example, if you have a loss on the sale of your home in the year before you sold, you can deduct this from your taxable gain. You will also need to decide how you plan to use the proceeds.
However, if you plan to sell your home in a hurry, you will not be able to qualify for the full home sale capital gains tax exemption. Instead, you will have to check a few boxes to receive the partial exemption.
Fortunately, there are still ways to avoid paying the full home sale capital gains tax. Those include selling in the spring or delaying your sale.
Lack of an industrial tax-base
A new survey has revealed that low property taxes in British Columbia have driven up prices by a factor of at least two. The result is a prohibitively expensive place to live for would-be home buyers and renters. And yet, the federal government offers preferential tax treatment to homeowners, with the principal residence capital gains tax exemption.
Property taxes in the city of Vancouver have been declining by more than 50 percent since 2000. But, the government has been raiding local tax bases to balance the budget. In the South Okanagan, the government confiscated $33 million from a $73 million assessment. Likewise, the Penticton government took $71 million from a $153 million one.
The government’s newest tactic is to take $840 million from the tax base and funnel it into the province’s coffers. The money can be used to build a B.C. Place or to help fund the education system. While some districts will benefit, others will be left with fewer dollars to pay for special needs.
Low property taxes have also been a major driver of the housing bubble. One of the reasons is that the government has encouraged speculative investment in residential real estate by granting homeowners a grant. Another reason is that property values have increased by more than $1 trillion in the last decade. This has created an impressive wealth for investors, and has priced out prospective home buyers and renters.
The best way to stop this is to build more homes. Currently, about 80 percent of residential land in Vancouver is used for low-density duplexes. These homes are worth about a third of what they cost to build.
Increasing revenue in a new way
Home prices have soared in British Columbia in recent years. Property values have risen from about $1 trillion in 2000 to about $2.4 trillion today. This growth has created new wealth for homeowners, investors and renters, but has also priced out younger generations.
The tax system in BC encourages speculative investment in residential property. Homeowners can make millions of dollars tax free, thanks to a capital gains exemption. Speculation has led to price inflation, and has also made British Columbia prohibitively expensive for young people.
A tax increase on homes would help reduce speculation and pressure on prices. But it is unlikely to do much to lower home prices. What is needed is a re-orientation of tax policy to discourage real estate investment.
Low property taxes have driven prices in the past decade, channelling wealth gains into the pockets of homeowners. Moreover, taxing capital gains could lower housing costs. However, the government’s five new targeted taxes have failed to cool speculation.
The city of Vancouver could use the tax revenue for transit, affordable housing and other public services. If it were able to legalize more homes per lot, it would offset the deterrent effect of higher taxes. Instead, it would focus on the value of land.
By targeting the property tax rate and the land portion, the government can reduce speculation while increasing the affordability benefits to residents. Increasing the rate of the land portion of the property tax would be easy to administer, and would deliver greater affordability benefits for residents.
With the recent addition of a new transit line, the value of nearby properties has increased. The new wealth of British Columbia works out to $22,000 a year for each resident.
Cut emergency services
North Vancouver City Council has called for reducing taxes. They’re worried that revenue is insufficient to fund services. For example, emergency services make up a large portion of the budget. The council is also “constantly asked” for more bylaw officers. However, the cost of these staff isn’t factored into the tax figures.
Postmedia analyzed municipal taxes and fees in 29 cities in British Columbia. The analysis showed how much has been increased in the past three years. In addition, it identified how the various fees work.
Among the most common items are emergency services, road maintenance, parks and recreation facilities. Other user fees include street parking, utility charges and community centre charges. This analysis shows where homeowners pay more. It also indicates how much tax the average homeowner pays.
One of the biggest challenges for city hall is budget cuts. Candidates for mayor and councillors were asked to explain how they would cut costs. Stewart argued that emergency services make up a large portion of city budget. He said the best way to reduce the amount of money spent is through a financial audit. But other candidates said they wanted to keep fees and taxes low.
In addition, the city has four fire halls. There are also plans to build a new Harry Jerome community centre. Heywood has said she wants to build smarter, and invest in arts and culture facilities. She also wants better collaboration with neighbouring municipalities.
While the tax and fee analysis isn’t comprehensive, it does provide a good picture of how homeowners in North Vancouver and West Vancouver are paying for their home. The municipal tax rate is one of the lowest in Metro Vancouver, and it’s only slightly higher than the rates in other jurisdictions.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.