Carole James and Andrew Weaver speak to the changes in the speculation tax at the B.C. Legislature. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Carole James and Andrew Weaver speak to the changes in the speculation tax at the B.C. Legislature. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Kelowna job market taking a hit due to speculation tax: CHBA

CHBA-CO said the tax has led to a 22 per cent cut in residential construction work in Kelowna

The speculation and vacancy tax has generated $115 million for the province in the 2018-19 fiscal year but the local homebuilders association said that it is coming at the cost of jobs.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of the Central Okanagan said residential construction jobs have been hit hard, seeing a 22 per cent reduction in Kelowna, a 17 per cent reduction in West Kelowna and a 12 per cent reduction in Nanaimo.

Cassidy deVeer, president of the association, said Kelowna has lost 3,000 jobs since the tax was implemented.

“We are highlighting the job reductions in our industry since the Speculation Tax was introduced to show its impact,” said deVeer. “It has harmed specific areas like Kelowna and West Kelowna and has driven growth in other communities like Kamloops and Penticton.”

On the other hand, Kamloops has seen the opposite effect. DeVeer said the city has seen a 35 per cent increase in jobs and a 30 per cent increase in vacant homes.

On Thursday, Sept. 12, the mayors of both Kelowna and West Kelowna met with Carole James, B.C.’s Minister of Finance to discuss the tax. Both mayors have opposed the tax in the past.

“The Speculation Tax affects Kelowna and West Kelowna directly and we think the people of the Central Okanagan deserve an answer on what the Finance Minister is doing about job reductions,” said deVeer.

“These lost jobs are not wealthy or foreign people which the tax is advertised to be targeting. These people are the working middle class and now they are out of a job in our community”

The tax is meant to target vacant properties and properties owned by real estate speculators and raise revenue that will directly support affordable housing.

READ MORE: Kelowna Tolko mill shut down for ‘indeterminate’ amount of time

READ MORE: West Kelowna pot shop near elementary school to be reviewed further: school trustees


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna’s 2021 preliminary budget proposes 4.27% tax increase

Proposed budget calls for eight new RCMP officers

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

The former BC Tree Fruits office building at 1473 Water Street has been sold. (Contributed)
BC Tree Fruits downtown Kelowna office sold for $7.5M

Historic building sold for 44 per cent more than the $5.2-million asking price

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP was called to a report of a fight at an Okanagan Landing Halloween party Saturday, Oct. 31, but issued the homeowner a ticket  under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act for having too many people at the party. (Black Press file photo)
West Kelowna man, dog rescued from carbon monoxide poisoning

The man was quickly transported to the hospital

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Police responded to W.L. Seaton Secondary after reports of young man attempting to smash car windows in the student parking lot on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (Facebook)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

Member of W.L. Seaton Secondary exposure Nov. 26

The aftermath of the 3 a.m. fire in Keremeos. (Keremeos Fire Department)
Fire and explosion wakes Keremeos residents

A motorhome was consumed and a boat severely damaged after the 3 a.m. fire

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Margaret Holm
HOLM: Better Bicycle Lanes

Margaret Holm writes about solutions to global warming

The newly opened Switzmalph Child Care Centre at Salmon Arm offers culturally enriched programs featuring the Secwépemc culture but is open to children of all heritages. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Video: Switzmalph Child Care Centre shares culture with Shuswap community

New daycare at Salmon Arm offers Secwépemc culturally enriched programs to children of all heritages

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Man walking in the winter downtown.
Dyer: The role of air tightness testing in energy efficiency

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

Most Read