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Vancouver’s 1% Will Face a Tax Hike in Latest Affordability Push

  • New top tax bracket announced in British Columbia budget
  • Latest in series of property and wealth-related taxes
Aerial Views Of Canada's Most Densely Populated City As Investors Lift Canadian Commercial Real Estate To Record Quarter
Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg

Vancouver’s richest will have to pay more income tax as British Columbia seeks to quell outrage over its prohibitive cost of living.

The Canadian province will now tax income above C$220,000 ($166,000) at 20.5%, up from 16.8%, the government announced Tuesday as part of its budget. The measure is expected to boost British Columbia’s personal income tax revenue by nearly 7% in the next fiscal year after a projected 3% decline this year, according to budget documents.

“It’s my job to make sure that the benefits of B.C.’s strong economy are felt by everyone, not just the few at the top,” British Columbia Finance Minister Carole James said in Victoria. “Today we’re asking the people at the top, the highest 1% of individual income earners, to pay a little more.”

British Columbia Premier John Horgan has made affordability a central plank of his government since taking power in 2017. Research has shown Vancouver -- Canada’s priciest housing market -- to be one of the continent’s most unaffordable housing markets with San Francisco-like home prices on Omaha-level incomes. In previous years, the provincial government’s measures have included levies targeting foreign buyers, properties left vacant for more than half the year, and a so-called school tax on luxury homes.

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