Threatened over spec tax?

The mayor of Victoria suburb Langford says he was threatened over B.C.s new speculation tax.

Stew Young, who opposes the tax and has worked to have his residents exempt from it, told CTV News the threat came from an economist working for the province.

Young says he wanted to put letters from concerned residents on council's agenda last year, but when he spoke to Rob Gillezeau, a University of Victoria economist working for the government on the tax, he was warned not to.

"He said if you put these letters on your council agenda, you will never get out of the spec tax. So I put them on my council agenda after that meeting, because I had to," Young told Victoria's CFAX radio. "And guess what? Langford is not out. So is that not a threat? Is that not how this finance ministry deals with people?"

However, a spokesperson for the premier's office tells CTV that staff have looked into Young's complaint, and that the exchange did not take place.

Meanwhile, more than a million B.C. homeowners in areas including the Capital Region, Vancouver, Kelowna and others will soon get a letter explaining how to opt out of the tax. They must fill out the paperwork, but can opt out if they don't have vacant property or have it rented out full time.

– with files from CTV Vancouver Island


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