The proposed speculation tax has been forefront of discussion at the Capital News web site at kelownacapnews.com and on our Facebook page. Here are a few comments:
Totally and utterly unnecessary damage to the economy will be created by this asset tax. It does not hurt true speculators who flip properties. It will only be the super rich who can offset the tax with a non-refundable tax credit. It clobbers people trying to retire with a cottage who are doing nothing to cause sky-high housing prices in Vancouver.
Given how clearly cynical this is, yet still being pushed, we need to look at the real motive, and it’s truly scary. Connect the dots and we have people who worked for years, paid taxes, and yet managed to save enough to buy a second recreational property. Now these people are retiring and paying less tax. So, how does a government obsessed with tax revenue make up for that? They and their economist hack academics at UBC say we need to lower income tax rates and increase property tax rates.
The consequences of the so-called speculation tax are already being felt. The consequences are no longer theoretical, and they are negative for two important sectors of the B.C. economy—tourism and real estate. And if implemented, it will have ripple effects throughout the province. Scrap this noxious tax, which doesn’t actually deter speculation, but instead harms second homeowners. Other communities have addressed their housing problems without implementing an asset tax. What’s stopping B.C. from pursuing other, more sensible measures?
Why should some out-of-province rich people have second homes that sit vacant for most of the year while local employers say they can’t attract the workers they need because of the housing crisis? The local economy is much wider than tourism and real estate. The CBC reported that a 2017 survey of 200 businesses conducted by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission found that this problem of being unable to attract workers extends to all sectors of the regional economy.
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