BC municipalities are calling on the province to modify the proposed speculation tax.
Delegates at the Union of BC Municipalities convention passed a motion urging the NDP to let local governments administer a tax on vacant residential properties, if they choose to.
Motion passed: Therefore be it resolved that UBCM urge the Province to modify replace the approach in the current proposed Speculation Tax with a provision to empower
local governments to collect a levy on vacant residential properties and to require local governments that choose to impose such a levy to invest the revenues in nonmarket
Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund feels the Horgan government can’t ignore the opposition.
“It’s got to get past (in the BC Legislature), and Andrew Weaver (Green Party Leader) has spoken against it too, so they hold the balance of power. Which ever way that party votes, will be the deciding factor,” Mund tells Beach Radio News.
Premier John Horgan was not backing down on the plans when he spoke with the media Friday, saying only one percent of British Columbia will affected by the tax.
“There’s been an awful lot of discussion for a small, narrow segment of the population, and you avoid the speculation tax by having your homes occupied, rented, children living in them. There is a whole bunch of exemptions that are being developed by the Ministry of Finance,” says Horgan.
Horgan says the legislation will be tabled early in October.
Critics say the possibility of the tax has chased away tourists and construction projects in tax-targeted and non-targeted areas.