Carole James unmoved by B.C. speculation tax concerns

Speculation tax triggered local ‘recession,’ B.C. mayors say

Mayors of B.C. communities affected by the NDP government’s pending “speculation tax” on second homes got the support of delegates of their counterparts province-wide Wednesday, and urged Premier John Horgan to make affordable housing measures a local decision.

Mayors of Langford, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Radium Hot Springs and Parksville held a news conference outside the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler to drive home the point that they are seeing unintended and negative consequences from the tax, due to take effect next year.

West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater said the prospect of the tax has caused “a bit of a recession” in his community. Single-family home starts are down 40 per cent since the tax was announced in February, and multi-family development proposals are off 45 per cent since the tax targeted vacant properties, he said.

Radium Hot Springs Mayor Clara Reinhardt said the announcement had an immediate effect on her resort community near the Alberta border, with housing developments cancelled.

Finance Minister Carole James confirmed after the vote that the speculation tax is going ahead in its amended form.

James rolled back the extent of the tax in March after protests from vacation homeowners, exempting the Gulf Islands, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, the Juan de Fuca region in Premier John Horgan’s constituency and rural areas of the Fraser Valley and Central Okanagan.

It applies to Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the municipalities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Kelowna and West Kelowna. It is to take effect based on 2018 assessed property values, at 0.5 per cent for B.C. residents and two per cent for foreign owners and “satellite families” who don’t pay income tax in B.C.

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson noted that the resolution to dump the tax had overwhelming support from local politicians at the UBCM convention. Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran endorsed Wilkinson’s argument that the tax doesn’t target speculation.

In May, Wilkinson proposed his own version of the tax, targeting capital gains of people who flip condominiums for a quick profit.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

Ladysmith Interact Club collecting food donations for those in need

On November 22nd and 23rd, Interact Club will be at the Ladysmith… Continue reading

Caps fall to Clippers in Nanaimo on Friday night

Clippers’ tying and winning goals come in less than a minute

Cowichan school district approves women’s winter shelter

The Cowichan Valley School District’s board of education has approved in principle… Continue reading

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Shots fired near Chicago hospital, multiple victims: police

Police say at least one possible offender has been shot

B.C. to allow ride hailing services to operate in 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Elections BC keeps eye on Canada Post dispute, but no change in Nov. 30 deadline

Vote No spokesman say an extension of one or two weeks would ensure all ballots are counted

Langley school pulls Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag after student petition

School district promises consultation with students and parents, defends using flag for war history

Calgary bobsled death inquiry recommends infrared technology, safety audits

A judge found the deaths of 17-year-old twins Evan and Jordan Caldwell were accidental and caused by blunt-force head and neck trauma

First ski hill in B.C. opened this weekend

Sun Peaks, near Kamloops, was the first ski hill in the province to open for season

Most Read