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Foreign buyer tax being contested in court

The legal challenge against the B.C. government’s foreign buyer tax is slated for June, and West Coast sales agents will be keeping a close eye on it. “There needs to be some kind of control that keeps people from buying up everything in Vancouver, but I think it’s an unfair tax,” said Pete Shpak, an associate broker with MLA Realty, who fields the occasional call from American buyers. “I had clients from Bellingham, Washington, who bought a presale condo and waited three years for it to be ready—they were an older couple who were ready to retire and wanted to spend half their time in Vancouver—and before it was complete they were hit with this 20% tax. This is an older couple.” A Chinese citizen named Jing Li has launched the motion against the province, claiming the tax—recently increased from 15% to 20%—contravenes foreign treaties, and is both discriminatory and…

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