Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance, has released the following statement on the government’s actions to provide relief to commercial tenants with landlords that have added the cost of the speculation and vacancy tax into their triple-net leases:
“We are taking action today to provide relief for the small number of tenants whose landlords added the cost of the speculation and vacancy tax through their triple-net lease agreement.
“We don’t believe that tenants should have these costs passed on to them by landlords. We will temporarily remove the speculation and vacancy tax liability for 2020 for property owners that meet certain conditions. Both property owners and tenants can now apply for the remission to ensure the people we are trying to help, the tenants, don’t have to wait for the owner to apply.
“The purpose of the speculation and vacancy tax is to bring much-needed residential housing supply to the market. We encourage property owners who have reclassified their properties with unbuilt airspace as ‘residential’ to continue in the development process to deliver needed housing supply in dense, urban areas.
“Our government will continue working with the Union of B.C. Municipalities and stakeholders to find a permanent solution to the concerns of businesses around property assessment and taxation that won’t create sudden shifts in tax burden to other businesses already challenged by COVID-19.”