Penticton’s mayor has expressed serious concerns after the provincial government made the surprise announcement that it would be expanding the vacancy tax to the region.
Both Summerland and Penticton will now be subject to the speculation and vacancy tax with residents forced to declare how they used their properties starting January 2025.
“It is extremely disappointing that this action has been taken with zero consultation,” said Mayor Julius Bloomfield in a statement.
“While this council shares the province’s goals of addressing the need for affordable housing as demonstrated by the work of our housing task force, we question the province’s lack of recognition of Penticton’s unique needs.”
This comes after the city is still trying to find answers on the upcoming short term rental limitations.
“That this unilateral decision to expand the speculation tax to our community has come at the same time we’re still trying to understand the consequences of the changes to the short-term regulations is especially concerning. We are very worried about the unintended consequences for our local economy by these actions.”
The city has not made a decision yet regarding the implementation of the short term rental limitations as proposed by the provincial government. When a report on that law came before council earlier in 2023, council received it without making a decision on the spot in order to get more information.
The mayor also said the city would be contacting the provincial government to find out why Penticton was selected as one of those affected, as well as what the impact will be on residents.