At a regular West Kelowna council meeting, Mayor Doug Findlater’s letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan about the speculation tax was addressed once again.
Following a meeting with Horgan and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, Findlater sent letter on June 21 outlining the reasons West Kelowna is opposed to the controversial tax plan.
“I am writing this open letter to you today to reiterate our grave concerns and to express our belief that the City of West Kelowna was added to the speculation tax using the following incorrect assumptions,” wrote Findlater.
He goes on to state while the overall rental vacancy rate in the Central Okanagan is now 0.2 per cent, Canada Mortgage and House expects it to climb to a much healthier 2.5 per cent once in-stream rental units are built. And he says the statistics being used to justify West Kelowna’s inclusion do not include single-family house rentals or secondary suites, both of which have been encouraged by the city in recent years.
His five page letter was answered on July 16 not by Horgan, but, by Finance Minister, Carole James in a single paragraph e-mail.
Findlater commented on how disappointed he was with the lack of response and recommended council begin documenting the loss of development opportunities each month to illustrate the amounting loss in West Kelowna due to the speculation tax.
“Developments like Goats Peak are going away, we should be preparing monthly reports to monitor the speculation tax,” Findlater said.
“The letter is a disappointment and a disillusion along with a non-response to our FOI (freedom of information inquiry) it appears they are stonewalling it. I am not through with it and will be figuring out a way to go back at it.”
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