B.C. Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon and fellow MLA Ben Stewart have doubled down on their opposition to the speculation tax, one week after an independent report found the tax has caused owners of multiple homes to rent out their vacant properties, adding 20,000 rental units in Metro Vancouver.
Speaking to Mo Amir on Vancolour, Falcon repeated his defence of speculators with vacant homes:
“The speculation tax is about charging people who own second homes a fee for owning those homes.”
Mo Amir: “Vacant homes though, in high demand areas.”
Falcon: “But that includes cabins and cottages on lake fronts, et cetera, so they are going to be paying extra.”
In fact, areas that are primarily vacation homes are exempt. The tax focused on high-demand urban communities where there is a severe housing shortage.
Stewart jumped on Twitter to echo Falcon and claim the tax was unpopular: “Another BC NDP tax grab on second homes the hated Speculation Tax an additional cost to home buyers. Layered taxes cost homeowners and drive up housing prices.”
Polls have consistently shown that British Columbians overwhelmingly support the speculation tax.
NDP MLA Grace Lore said: “The speculation tax might be unpopular with the speculators that Kevin Falcon and Ben Stewart spend time with, but people in my community support it because it has provided housing for thousands of people. Kevin Falcon is working for speculators and the top 1% and would make everyone else pay the price.”