Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok

Worry over speculation tax causing concern in Columbia River Revelstoke, MLA says

The intent of the new speculation tax imposed by the province of British Columbia is to target foreign and domestic speculators in BC, these being homeowners who have removed their units from BC’s long term stock — meaning they are not owner occupied or a qualifying long term rental property.

The tax rate this year is $5 per $1,000 of assessed value, which will increase to $20 per $1,000.

Right now, the tax only applies to Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, capital and Nanaimo districts on the island and Kelowna and West Kelowna.

While the intent may target foreign speculators, Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok says that nobody thought about the ripple effect. Regardless of the fact that the tax does not apply to the Kootenays — yet — Clovechok says communities in this riding are feeling the uncertainty.

“My offices are being absolutely inundated with phone calls from British Columbians and Albertans,” he said.

While the tax does not cover this area, Clovechok says that people are either unaware of that or feel that it could in the future.

“There has been a $10 million project put on hold in Radium, a hotel project at one of our ski areas has been put on hold, another half million dollar project in Golden is on hold. It’s having a dramatic effect on us already,” he said.

“These projects that are being put on hold, that is directly taking jobs out of our communities.”

Clovehcok says he had an extensive visit with Finance Minister Carole James last week.

“I told her that I understand what they are trying to do with speculation in Vancouver, but that’s not happening in the Kootenays. She says she doesn’t believe the tax is coming to the Kootenays. I asked for that in writing. I have since sent two letter to her office requesting that promise in writing and i haven’t heard back.”

“The level of uncertainty in our riding is rising. I don’t think they thought this through. Nobody asked if it would have an impact on this area or other rural areas. Albertans are incredibly angry about this. We are picking on fellow Canadians. Canadians shouldn’t be penalized by other Canadians.”

Clovechok says it already affects people in this riding who may have a second property elsewhere in the province. He says that while the government promises tax rebates for those situations, he doesn’t believe those rebates will fully reimburse the costs.

And Clovechok also believes that whatever the intent of the tax, it’s not going to drive real estate prices down in Vancouver nor will it create opportunities for more social housing.

“Social housing is an important issue and something I am discussing with mayors in this riding. Yes, we need more social housing but we don’t need it on the backs of our neighbours.”

Clovechok urges people to contact his office if they have any more questions about the speculation tax.

Just Posted

Cranbrook RCMP respond to fatal canoe incident at Moyie Lake

A young man died after a canoe overturned in the lake early Tuesday morning

Plenty of misinformation spreading on Draft Caribou Plan, Wildsight says

The environmental group Wildsight is advocating for the proposals put forward in… Continue reading

MLA Report: Caribou Recovery – Regrets and Regression

Doug Clovechok, MLA Columbia River - Revelstoke Last week, the residents of… Continue reading

News from the Kimberley Garden Club

Submitted by Marilee Quist At our April 16th, we met at the… Continue reading

Special Olympic athletes work on public speaking

The Kimberley/Cranbrook Special Olympics had two athletes build up their public-speaking skills

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

Most Read