LETTER: Speculation tax unfairly targets locals with vacation homes

Dear editor:

Keith Baldrey [in his July 17 column] made some interesting points regarding the effectiveness and viability of the speculation tax.

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I fail to understand how Carole James can justify double taxing Canadian citizens just because they own more than one property.

As Baldrey pointed out, 13 per cent of the people hit by the speculation tax are Canadian citizens. This tax is not a small amount.

Our property is assessed at $1.4 million and the speculation tax for 2018 would be $5,000. On top of that we have property tax. As a second home, we pay double for school taxes and utility taxes.

As Baldrey pointed out, is it really fair to single out 2,410 British Columbians to pay speculation tax for a family vacation home? I do not believe these are the “speculators” Carole James intended to target.

Baldrey is an intelligent journalist with extensive knowledge in government affairs and he is quick to see that this tax is not effective and targeting the tax-paying British Columbians rather than the “foreign and domestic speculators.”

Why can Carole James not see this and abolish this punitive tax? It is a form of expropriation of our own property. The speculation tax website states: “This new annual tax is designed to: target foreign and domestic speculators who own residences in B.C. but don’t pay taxes here” and “turn empty homes into good housing for people.”

Carole James has targeted citizens of B.C. who pay taxes here such as myself. In fact we pay double taxes.

Our vacation home is not left empty, as we use it for vacation. However, because we own two properties, it is subject to the tax.

This is unfair and it is time that Carole James steps up to the plate and owns up to her mistakes in this matter.

Nancy Strain
Coquitlam

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