Chamber against spec tax

The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce has decided to throw their support behind a "Scrap the Speculation Tax" movement, of which the Kelowna Chamber is already a member.

The campaign demands Premier John Horgan reverse the speculation tax on second homes that was recently extended from Vancouver to the Central Okanagan, among other areas.

Though Penticton is not currently in the taxed area, and Horgan has said there are no plans to bring it to the area, the chamber joined the campaign in solidarity with the rest of the Okanagan.

"We have joined this effort on behalf of our members, the increasing number of business owners and the visitors to the beautiful Okanagan who believe that this punitive tax will significantly affect the local economy by unreasonably restricting individuals’ plans to maintain property in the Okanagan generally," said Cary Schneiderat, president. 

“We need to stand together with our members and neighbouring Kelowna Chamber to encourage the BC government to rethink this hasty and possibly damaging policy."

The chamber said in a press release that laws need to change to "target the real speculators and not long-term homeowners who are a part of our community," and "protect and support our local tourism industry and business."

They also called the tax "unfair" and "ineffective."

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