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Details, timeline for changes to foreign homebuyers tax unclear

Last Updated Jan 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm PDT

Parts of a new white apartment houses, white background, Bankok (iStock file photo)

VANCOUVER – The BC government has announced a tweak to its tax on foreigners buying residential property in Metro Vancouver, but what the specific changes will look like and who will be impacted remains to be seen.

Premier Christy Clark said Sunday that the province will lift the tax for people who have work permits and are paying taxes in order to attract more people to BC.

But the finance ministry says in a statement that details of the regulations are still being worked out, including when the new policy will come into effect and whether it will retroactively cover people with work permits who have already paid the tax.

The statement says regulations will be announced “in due course” and that the tax has been effective so far.

The 15 per cent levy was implemented last August in a bid to cool skyrocketing real estate prices in Metro Vancouver.

Opposition NDP housing critic David Eby says the tax made it more difficult for companies to recruit and retain employees because it added another surprise cost to living in BC.