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Speculation Tax Questions

Will Lions Bay residents be required to participate in 2023?

Village residents have expressed concern to The Watershed regarding mixed messages coming from the province, in relation to the recently announced Speculation Tax.

The tax is intended "to help eliminate speculative real estate practices and turn empty units into homes," according to the provincial government website. However, the search function on the Speculation Tax page of the site does not bring up Lions Bay as one of the municipalities designated to pay the tax in 2023.

"I saw some chatter about this tax online," said Lions Bay resident Nancy Seow. "I can't be the only person who is confused."

She was concerned enough to look into it herself. After talking with village staff and reaching out to the province, she reports that village residents will indeed be on the list of municipalities required to complete the taxation paperwork, but not until next year.

The Watershed confirmed her findings. The provincial government has clarified in a recent press release that Lions Bay (along with North Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan and Squamish) is on the list for the expansion of this program in 2024. While the province's position is that an anticipated 99% of British Columbians will be exempt from paying the tax, homeowners will still be required to declare their ownership, and claim an exemption if eligible. Exemptions are available for primary residences, properties with a long-term tenant and a number of other special circumstances.

Earlier this year, Councillor Marcus Reuter suggested that he would look into the possibility that Lions Bay residents might avoid being subject to the tax altogether, because of the village's recent redesignation as a rural region. At the March 7 meeting of council, Reuters noted that he is continuing to investigate, and will report back to council with his findings.

Do you have questions or thoughts regarding BC's new Speculation Tax? Share your comments below, or send them to

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