THE NDP said on Sunday that B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson’s promise to eliminate the Speculation and Vacancy Tax will drive up housing costs and turn new rentals back into empty condos.
The CMHC has found that over 11,000 empty condos were turned into long-term rentals last year because of the speculation tax and similar policies. (CMHC, Jan 2020, Pg 4-5)
Wilkinson has also promised to lower property taxes on homes worth over $3 million.
In 2018, the BC NDP increased the School Property Tax by .2% on houses over $3 million, and by .4% on homes over $4 million. The change raised $200 million per year to go into services including reduced childcare fees and affordable housing, and contributed to the stabilization of the housing market.
Wilkinson has committed to eliminating both the speculation tax and the additional school property tax:
“Asset taxes like the phony NDP school tax and the phony NDP speculation tax are going to disappear if we form government.” (CHBC Kelowna, January 8, 2019)
On Thursday night, Wilkinson repeated his criticism of both the speculation tax and “phony taxes like the additional school tax.” (Sept 24, Facebook Live, 43:20)
In the past, Wilkinson has described renting as “a wacky time of life” that is part of “growing up and getting better.” (Video)
BC NDP Candidate Selina Robinson said: “We already knew Andrew Wilkinson thought renting was just a wacky time of life, but now we’re seeing how much his policies would hurt people. Giving a tax break to speculators and people with $3 million homes would cause housing prices to skyrocket again. People can’t afford Andrew Wilkinson’s out of touch policies.”