VICTORIA (July 11, 2019) – After the latest numbers show 60 per cent fewer B.C. homeowners are paying the speculation tax than the NDP anticipated, BC Liberal Finance Co-Critics Tracy Redies and Shirley Bond are once again calling on John Horgan to scrap the ineffective and cumbersome tax.
“John Horgan has led British Columbians on a wild goose chase, claiming rampant speculation in our housing market when in fact the numbers show the NDP greatly exaggerated the scale of this problem,” says Redies, MLA for Surrey-White Rock. “Rather than bringing in comprehensive measures that will actually improve affordability for middle-income workers in our province, John Horgan and the NDP have hyped speculation in order to slap another tax on hard-working British Columbians.”
While the speculation tax brought in $115 million for the 2018/19 fiscal year, this doesn’t do much when considering the government lost $325 million in property transfer tax revenue in that very same year – hardly an effective approach to finding more money for affordable housing.
“We know that many people being punished by this tax are not speculators and in fact today’s numbers show us that there are fewer potential speculators in B.C. than the NDP claimed,” says Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “While Horgan said this new tax was necessary to help everyday British Columbians afford a home, given today’s numbers, it’s clear this tax will hardly help that situation at all. It’s time for the NDP to do the right thing and get rid of this poorly thought-out tax.”
In the end, while the NDP forced 1.6 million British Columbians to fill out invasive declarations to avoid being unfairly charged for the speculation tax under negative-option billing, less than 0.3 per cent of the population will actually pay the tax.
As too many British Columbians still can’t afford a home – especially with out-of-control rental costs which John Horgan and the NDP refuse to take any real action to address – the failed tax policies of the NDP government continue to hurt everyday, hard-working British Columbians.