A coalition of B.C. organizations have launched a campaign to demand that Premier John Horgan and the government “Scrap the Speculation Tax”.
The coalition is comprised of the Urban Development Institute Capital Region and Okanagan chapters, Canadian Home Builders’ Association of the Central Okanagan, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Victoria, Independent Contractors of British Columbia, Stop the Speculation Tax Petition (#StoptheSpecTax), Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and Peachland Chamber of Commerce.
“While the government wants to address housing affordability, this patchwork tax will do the exact opposite. It will kill jobs, hurt the B.C. tourism industry and make the housing affordability issue worse,” says the coalition in a news release. “This tax is not going after the real speculators, it only targets hardworking British Columbian and Canadian taxpayers”.
Justin O’Connor, president of the CHBA Central Okanagan, says, “It is our responsibility to speak up and educate consumers about how the new speculation tax will negatively affect jobs in our community.”
The coalition recommends the B.C. government immediately scrap the Speculation Tax and do the following to address housing affordability:
- Target real speculators, not long-term homeowners, including many out-of-province residents;
- Protect local tourism dependant economies, such as Kelowna and the South Island;
- Reduce the cost of delivering housing units by exempting vacant development land from this tax;
- Exempt Canadian and British Columbian taxpayers from the tax measures.
The group’s website allows citizens to write to their local Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) “to express their frustration and concerns,” says the group.