Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. City Wants Exemption from Proposed Real Estate Speculation Tax

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. City Wants Exemption from Proposed Real Estate Speculation Tax

Article excerpt

B.C. city wants speculation tax exemption

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VICTORIA - Communities across British Columbia are speaking out against the province's proposed speculation tax on real estate, saying the levy could damage their economies.

The Regional District of Nanaimo joined West Kelowna on Wednesday in asking the NDP government to rethink the tax, introduced in last month's budget.

West Kelowna council voted unanimously to seek an exemption from the proposed tax covering the entire community of 35,000 people in the Okanagan.

The Nanaimo Regional District board, representing much of central Vancouver Island, also voted unanimously to "object to the speculation tax in any form, in any region or municipality in B.C.

Board members asked for a meeting with Finance Minister Carole James to discuss the tax and they invited the mayors of Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Lantzville to attend.

In a statement Wednesday, board chairman Bill Veenhof said there are deep concerns about the potential impact of the tax on people who own vacation properties in the Nanaimo area.

"These people are not speculators," the statement says. "They are important members of our communities. Families who visit year after year, supporting local businesses, paying their fair share of property taxes, and investing in our tourism-based economy. …

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