NDP and Greens vote down opt-out clause for municipalities impacted by Speculation Tax

VICTORIA (November 21, 2018) – The NDP are pushing through flawed legislation that ignores local mayors and forces British Columbians to pay tax on hard-earned savings like family cabins.

The Finance Minister has ignored months of calls from municipalities to allow an opt-out clause to mitigate the devastating local consequences of the Speculation Tax. The amendments tabled by the BC Liberals this week would have directly addressed these concerns and provided an opt-out clause, which the NDP and Greens voted unanimously against.

“One of the problems that we’ve run into in my riding is that, despite the Speculation Tax not directly targeting my area we are still seeing its effects none the less”, said Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok. “We have already had a number of Albertan developers cancel projects simply because there is too much uncertainty surrounding the Speculation Tax.”

“Within 15 days of the announced tax, that wasn’t even applicable to our area, we halted construction of our $10 million project” said Bighorn Meadows Resort Ltd. President, Randy Trapp. “We sat dormant for 60 days, laid off our construction crews for that time while we digested the situation. We elected to finish the $2 million phase that was partially constructed. At this time, we will wait until the existing units sell before proceeding with any other construction in Radium Hot Springs.”

“It is disappointing to see the Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver’s lack of commitment to his promise,” said Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka. “I know many community leaders were hoping that he would follow through on his commitment to municipalities to alter the tax. This flawed legislation will have little to no impact on improving housing supply or affordability.”

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