BC drops home tax to stimulate building in toughtogetinto housing market

B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong, right, tables a balanced budget for a fourth year in a row as Premier Christy Clark looks on at the Legislative Assembly, in Victoria on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito VICTORIA – British Columbia introduced tax changes in its provincial budget Tuesday to help buyers and builders of new homes valued up to $750,000, while targeting people able to afford properties priced above $2 million.Housing policy experts and the NDP panned the tax measures as inadequate, saying bolder action was needed to help young people enter the hot housing market.Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the government considers housing affordability an area of major concern. Average prices for homes in many Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods are above $1 million.Prices for single-family homes in most areas of Metro Vancouver have increased between 45 per cent and 70 per cent over the past five years, while the cost of multi-family homes has jumped between 15 and 40 per cent.“Is there anything more reflective of who we are as Canadians than the dream of owning a home, and the ability to make that dream a reality?” de Jong said. “For many B.C. families, that reality has become harder to achieve in recent years as home prices have continued to rise.”He said the province’s fourth consecutive balanced budget, which has a surplus of $264 million, contains a new housing initiative that exempts payment of property transfer taxes on newly built homes, including condominiums, priced up to $750,000.The current property transfer tax is set at one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remaining price.De Jong said the exemption will save buyers of a new home $13,000. People who buy older homes will continue to pay the property purchase tax at the current rates.New Democrat Leader John Horgan called the changes cosmetic.“They were not what people were looking for,” he said. “They were looking for substantive change to help people get into the market.”University of B.C. housing policy expert Paul Kershaw said the budget has done little to help British Columbians enter the market, especially young people in Metro Vancouver where he estimated it takes 23 years to save for a down payment on a home.“As a result, he’s actually missed the reality that unaffordability is a provincewide problem and it looks more and more like our province is drunk on high housing prices.”De Jong said much of the new housing exemption will be funded with the creation of a third tier of property transfer tax. It involves increasing the property transfer tax rate to three per cent on the value of a home over $2 million.Buyers of property above $2 million will still pay the existing purchase tax rates of one per cent on the first $100,000 and two per cent for homes up to $2 million but the rate rises to three per cent tax on any value above $2 million.De Jong said the three per cent tax is estimated to raise $75 million annually, the amount the government believes it will need to offset the exemptions for new home buyers.He said buyers will also be required to disclose their citizenship so the government can collect data on who is purchasing property.“The government stopped collecting data that specifically identified foreign purchasers in 1998,” de Jong said. “We believe there is a legitimate need to resume that process again.”The budget also exempts children from medical service premiums starting next January and increases disability payments by $77 a month.The Medical Services Plan exemptions will benefit single-parent families by reducing monthly payments by up to $72.De Jong said the budget also includes the first deposit of $100 million to its promised Prosperity Fund, which was billed three years ago to potentially grow to $100 billion with revenues from the liquefied natural gas industry. B.C. drops home tax to stimulate building in tough-to-get-into housing market by Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 16, 2016 2:00 am MDT Last Updated Feb 17, 2016 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Yellow weather warning issued as heavy rain and strong winds expected to

For the southern half of the UK then it it currently a cloudy and wet picture, with rather widespread rain. Further north there are a scattering of showers. Keep an umbrella handy today ☔️ However from above the satellite shows an impressive swirl of low pressure. ☁️ pic.twitter.com/l01Nnmg5ze— MeteoGroup UK (@WeatherCast_UK) April 27, 2018 As well as a lot of rain in places on Monday 🌧️ there is the potential for a little bit of wet snow over some hills in England ❄️ and this got us thinking … when was the latest widespread late season snow in the UK? (poll to follow) pic.twitter.com/cmjYZaTEDX— Met Office (@metoffice) April 28, 2018 Heavy downpours and strong winds are set to batter much of England and Wales on Sunday and into next week, as the Met Office issued a Yellow weather warning for rain.Experts cautioned that spray and flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions, some road closures, and a small risk of damage to homes and businesses.Heavy precipitation is likely to affect much of eastern, southeastern and central England on Sunday night and Monday, as a deep area of low pressure makes its way across the UK from Europe. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “We’ve got a breeze coming in off the North Sea so temperatures along the east coast will reach only 8C is some places, and the wind is going to pick up a little bit throughout the day.“Further to the north, in northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland we’ll see a mixture of sunshine and showers, some of which may be on the heavy side, perhaps with a bit of thunder towards Northern Ireland as well.“There may perhaps be some brightness on Sunday along western parts of wales and the far south west of England.” Temperatures on Sunday are expected to reach a high of 9-12C (48-54F), with lows of 7-10C (45-50F) more likely along the length of England’s east coast. Rain and winds are also anticipated in much of Wales, and the overall UK outlook one of light rain and drizzly spells going into Tuesday. Forecasters had previously warned that it would be cold enough to produce snow on high ground such as the North and South Downs, with some snowfall still possible on higher ground such as the Chilterns and the Pennines on Monday.For most areas, however, Sunday was expected to start with sunny and dry spells in the north and west, with a few showers.Elsewhere the outlook is cloudier and wetter, with 50-70mm of rain falling locally in the south east, coupled with strong north to north-easterly winds, making it feel colder. A Met Office spokesman said: “It will be quite a story of two halves across the UK.“Sunday will be quite cloudy across many southern parts, with some outbreaks of drizzle and still feeling quite cool. read more