VICTORIA (December 11, 2019) – Following a recent government announcement the NDP would be making further changes to its already deeply-flawed Speculation Tax, BC Liberal Finance Co-Critics Shirley Bond and Stephanie Cadieux, are calling on John Horgan to admit failure and scrap the ineffective and cumbersome tax that has done little to improve vacancy rates and mediate housing affordability.
“Once again, the NDP are being forced to make revisions to the speculation tax — a sign of just how ineffective this tax has been at accomplishing its intended purpose,” said Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “Meanwhile, the tax continues to punish numerous hard-working families who are caught in the middle of this poorly-designed policy that does nothing to address speculation in the housing market.”
Among other revisions, the government announced today that the speculation and vacancy tax rate will quadruple for foreign owners and British Columbians deemed to be satellite families from 0.5 to 2 per cent. Also revealed were plans to extend the exemption period for condo and apartment owners restricted from renting their units due to strata restrictions until December 31, 2021. However, despite sustained calls from mayors across the province, the NDP still refuses to provide an exemption opt-out for local governments.
“Housing prices are set to rise in 2020, and if the NDP government continues to cling to this half-baked tax instead of actually addressing housing supply, affordability will only worsen for hardworking British Columbians,” says Stephanie Cadieux MLA for Surrey South. “The speculation tax was designed to improve vacancy rates and address housing affordability concerns — particularly in the Lower Mainland — yet it has become increasingly clear that this tax is having little effect. It’s time for the NDP to get rid of this poorly thought-out tax and do something that actually addresses speculation in the housing market.”