Speculation tax furor reaches campaign trail
There’s been some fallout from the government’s announcement that all homeowners in areas subject to the speculation tax will have to fill out a document to avoid paying the tax.
That means unless homeowners opt-out of the tax annually they will get a bill for the new tax which hasn’t been popular in Nanaimo nor the District of Lantzville where it’s in effect.
The news has reached the campaign trail in the Nanaimo byelection where the Liberal candidate Tony Harris said people have enough on their plates without the government forcing them to register their homes to not pay a tax.
NDP candidate Sheila Malcolmson said the process is not a burden on homeowners and compares it to similar declaration homeowners must make annually.
“The Homeowners Grant is something that British Columbians are familiar with. Every year when you pay your property tax bill you sign the declaration saying that I’m paying tax now on my principle residence at which point your tax bill goes down by, you know, 40 per cent. That’s a process that works and it does need to be re-committed to every year, that’s the process here.”
The Greens Nanaimo Candidate, Michelle Ney said the party did vote to pass the speculation tax into law but it was under protest.
“The NDP wanted to move forward with this tax and declared it as a confidence measure. We made sure that the local government had to be consulted annually.”
The Vancouver Island Party’s platform advocates for the removal of the NDP speculation tax on all properties in the Regional District of Nanaimo.
It’s not certain where the BC Conservatives nor the Libertarians stand on the issue.