Concerns raised about unintended consequences of NDP's speculation tax
British Columbians with cabins are not the intended targets of a new speculation tax, the finance minister says.
Carole James is fielding concerns about whether the tax will have unintended consequences on those who live in the province but also own vacation properties.
The tax was announced in February; those who own homes they don't live in or rent out will have to pay. A finance ministry fact sheet says the tax will target foreign and domestic speculators, and that a non-refundable income tax credit will help offset the tax for B.C. residents.
Still, one MLA said he's concerned the tax is too broad, and that seniors who've long owned vacation homes will be hit with a big bill. Adam Olsen says he's been hearing from residents of the Gulf Islands.
"For the most part, they're retired folks who've had a vacation property on the Gulf Islands for decades, on a fixed income," the Green MLA said.
"They're telling stories about how this is going to impact them and how it's going to cost them a lot more money."
James said the new tax isn't aimed at people like those who've voiced concerns to Olsen.
"The purpose of the speculation tax is to make sure that we get speculators who are using our housing market as a stock market out of the business," she said.
The tax applies to homes in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Nanaimo, Kelowna and West Kelowna and the Capital Region, including the Gulf Islands.
James said further details are expected later in the spring. The new tax will apply to this year.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan