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West Kelowna  

UBCM spec tax Plan B

UPDATE: 2:20 p.m.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities has passed a joint resolution submitted by Kelowna and West Kelowna in opposition to the province's proposed real estate speculation tax.

The resolution was passed Wednesday at the UBCM convention in Whistler. It was one of 200 resolutions up for consideration.

It urges the province to "modify its approach to the current proposed speculation tax to empower local governments to collect a levy on vacant residential properties and to require local governments that choose to impose such a levy to invest the revenues in non-market housing."


ORIGINAL: 10 a.m.

West Kelowna is making its opposition to the province's proposed speculation real estate tax known at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Whistler.

Mayor Doug Findlater, along with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, met with Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver to discuss the cities' opposition to the plan, which would add a levy on top of home purchases in the two communities for non-resident buyers in an attempt to cool a super-heated housing market.

“Mr. Weaver is very much on the same page as us," Findlater said after the meeting. "He knows this tax will hurt our community, and he said he is going to vote accordingly when the matter is before him.

If Weaver follows through, that could put the spec tax in jeopardy, as the governing NDP rely on an agreement with the Greens to hold the balance of power in the legislature. The BC Liberals are already on record as opposing the tax, which means a vote in the house has a strong possibility of failing.

Basran and Findlater previously met with Premier John Horgan on the subject, but Basran did not come away from the meeting with high hopes.

"I don't have a lot of optimism that Kelowna and West Kelowna are going into be allowed to opt out or be excluded," Basran said in June.



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