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.

Just Posted

Okanagan chefs battle at Great Kitchen Party

Chef Kai Koroll of 50th Parallel Estate Winery won the event Friday night

Pre-season booming at Big White with Hallmark movie production

Big White is the main drop for Hallmark’s film Alice in Winterland

Kelowna man sentenced to 18 months probation for filming co-workers in washroom

The man was conditionally discharged following a sentencing hearing on Friday

Woman wanted on Canada-wide warrant possibly in Kelowna area

Brittany McLellan is unlawfully at large and wanted for breach of federal parole

Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Pedestrian struck and killed in Kamloops accident

Kamloops RCMP responded to the incident at 5:30 p.m. Friday night

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Most Read