West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater expressed his concern about the potential impact on his city of the province’s new speculation tax directly to Finance Minister Carole James last week. —Image: contributed

West Kelowna not giving up its fight against speculation tax

Despite finance minister saying she won’t exclude the city, council wants West Kelowna out

West Kelowna plans to keep lobbying the province to be excluded from the new speculation tax, despite Finance Minister Carole James saying that won’t happen.

Following a meeting between West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater and James last week, the government made some tweaks to the tax earlier this week in order to ease its impact on British Columbians who own second homes in the province.

At his meeting with James, Findlater presented a number of proposals including not applying the tax in West Kelowna. But that was not accepted by James.

West Kelowna and Kelowna are the only two municipalities in the B.C. Interior where the tax will be applicable. It also affects Metro Vancouver, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission, the Capital Regional district in and around Victoria and Nanaimo and Lantzville on Vancouver Island.

While aimed at out-of-province property owners and intended to lower the cost of homes and make more available in the affected communities, both West Kelowna and Kelowna says the “unintended” consequences of the new tax will be to slow development, reduce property values, impact tourism revenues and result in job losses and a slowdown of the economies in both cities.

In its February budget, the government announced the tax, which both West Kelowna and Kelowna feel is actually a vacant home tax, not a tax that will stop property speculation. The was no consultation prior to the tax’s introduction. Both Central Okanagan cities—and the Union of B.C. Municipalities—want to see a true property “flipping” tax instead.

Findlater argues West Kelowna is unique given it is only 10-years-old and does not have reserves built up to fund important infrastructure upgrades, projects that currently rely heavily on development cost charges—revenue raised from development to pay for public infrastructure.

He says the tax will create an uneven playing field with neighbouring communities that are not impacted by the tax. In the Okanagan, they include Lake Country, Peachland, Penticton and Vernon.

On Tuesday, West Kelowna council requested Findlater write to Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James to reiterate West Kelowna’s desire to be excluded from the tax and request a face-to-face meeting with Horgan.

Council also said if the province maintains the tax as planned, it wants Victoria to provide an economic impact report before the tax is implemented.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: the warm sun is sticking around

Environement Canada forcasts sun, no clouds for Wednesday

TKI Construction looks forward to being part of Rutland

The company is renovating the old AG Outdoor Superstore

Rockets’ tiebreaker for playoff berth a franchise first

The Rockets travel to Kamloops for a do-or-die match against the Blazers

‘Our sales are hurting’ Kelowna music hub takes hit after big competition moves in

Milkcrate Records still taking a hit after Sunrise Records moved into town 2 years ago

Construction set to begin on new roundabout in Lake Country

Construction is scheduled from April until July

The UBC Innovation Library has helped over 1,100 students since opening in 2015

Students across B.C. can access their academic resources at the UBC Innovation Library

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read