Letter: Speculation tax is poorly conceived

Kelowna letter writer comments on proposed new tax

To: Premier Horgan and Minister James:

I can’t believe how badly this speculation tax was conceived. It was clearly aimed at foreign buyers in Vancouver who have empty condos that are parking money and creating empty condo towers.

Most of the people who own second homes in places like Kelowna, West Kelowna and the Gulf Islands are not speculators. They are people who love coming to these areas to vacation with their families.

In the Interior of B.C., the only two communities who are subject to this tax are Kelowna and West Kelowna. If you own in Peachland, Lake Country, Westbank First Nations property, or anywhere else in the interior you are exempt.

Owners of second homes are used as family getaways. These people all contribute to the local economies when they are here, as well as already paying higher property taxes than local residents because they don’t receive the B.C. Homeowner’s Grant.

Owners of condos and townhouses sometimes cannot rent even their home—even if they wanted to due to strata rules. The government states if the unit is rented—a signed lease for a year—they are exempt from paying and then can’t use it for their families.

The two per cent annual tax amounts to several thousands of dollars a year per home in addition to the taxes they are already paying to the municipality. A $700,000 condo or home could have to pay $14,000 extra per year.

Essentially, the government is telling people that if they bought a property for their personal use, on a less than full time basis, the government has the right to tax them. This won’t create more rental properties, as the government thinks, it will just force people to sell their properties and go elsewhere.

What can you do to get this changed immediately—suggest you only tax foreigners —and leave our Canadian citizens alone.

Send e-mails to premier@gov.bc.ca, FIN.Minister@gov.bc.ca.

Debra Kelly, Peachland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Speedboat reportedly sinking near Manhattan Point in Kelowna

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Kelowna General Hospital takes steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

So far, at least six people have died and 275 people have contracted the virus worldwide

Plans submitted for third hotel across from Kelowna International Airport

YLW passengers in need of accommodations could be getting another option

Okanagan among Canada’s most at-risk habitats: WWF report

Report found the Okanagan is inadequately protected despite being a hotspot for at-risk species

Kelowna sea cadets grab medals at local biathlon competition

Three cadets from the 93 Grenville Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps brought home the hardware

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Most Read