Victoria changes gears, will not ask to impose foreign-buyers tax

 

The City of Victoria has decided not to pursue a foreign-buyers tax after all.

A vote to request the provincial government to allow for a 15 per cent additional property transfer tax for purchasers living outside of Victoria or the Capital Region was struck down at a city council meeting on Thursday after it had been moved forward at a committee meeting a week earlier.

The vote was struck down on a 4-4 split after passing through a committee meeting stage at a 5-3 vote earlier this month.

Councillor Marianne Alto says she struggled with the decision but in the end felt the motion was too narrow minded.

“If someone could have proven to me that implementing that kind of a tax would solve this problem, though it would have been most distasteful, and with great reluctance, I might have been able to say on balance that cost is worth it but that is not the case here and I do not think the cost of going down the road is what Victorians wanted to endure. “

Alto says there are many other options they have implemented and are going to implement to solve the housing affordability problem.

It comes after months of speculation on whether Victoria would follow Vancouver's lead on implementation of the tax.

The City of Victoria is going through some steps to see if implementing a vacancy tax could become possible at some point.

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