An Arizona family in Sidney, B.C., says they might have to sell their beloved vacation home if the speculation tax rolls out as promised. (Black Press files)

B.C. groups form coalition with ‘Scrap the Speculation Tax’ campaign

Concerned British Columbians launch campaign to Scrap the Speculation Tax

A coalition of B.C. business groups has launched a campaign called Scrap the Speculation Tax to demand that Premier John Horgan and the government reverse their decision to implement a Speculation Tax.

“It is our responsibility to speak up and educate consumers about how the new speculation tax will negatively affect jobs in our community,” said Justin O’Connor, president, Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan.

The coalition includes the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Victoria, Canadian Home Builders Association – Central Okanagan, UDI Capital Region, UDI Okanagan, Independent Contractors of British Columbia, Stop the Speculation Tax Petition (#StoptheSpecTax), Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and the Peachland Chamber of Commerce.

READ MORE: SOME HAVE HIGH HOPES FOR THE SPECULATION TAX

While the government wants to address housing affordability, the coalition contends that the tax will do the exact opposite. They say it will kill jobs, hurt the B.C. tourism industry and make the housing affordability issue worse.

“We’ve joined this growing coalition on behalf of our many members, and the large group of business people and visitors to the Okanagan who have let us know this tax could be ruinous to their businesses and to their personal plans to maintain a home in Kelowna. New housing stock, vacation properties, downstream retail purchasers by summer and winter visitors – all are threatened by this punitive tax,” said Carmen Sparg, Kelowna Chamber president.

The coalition recommends the B.C. government immediately scrap the Speculation Tax and do the following to address housing affordability: Target real speculators, not long-term homeowners, including many out-of-province residents;

Protect our local tourism-dependent economies, like Kelowna and the South Island;

Reduce the cost of delivering housing units by exempting vacant development land from this tax;

Exempt Canadian and British Columbian taxpayers from this unfair tax measures.

The campaign wants to spread the word about the unfair and ineffective Speculation Tax. Its website allows concerned citizens to learn more and write to their local Member of the Legislative Assembly to express their frustration and concerns.

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