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Should the real estate speculation tax be increased?

Poll: spec tax increase

B.C.’s speculation tax will rise from 0.5% to 2% on Dec. 31. In addition, an exemption for vacant land will end.

Any tax levied Dec. 31 will be due in July.

"When we introduced the speculation and vacancy tax, our province was at the peak of a real estate crisis, and moderation in the market was long overdue," Minister of Finance Carole James said. "Based on the data from the first year, we see the tax is working as it was designed to: capturing speculators, foreign owners and people who own vacant homes, while exempting more than 99.8% of British Columbians."

The tax, which affects properties in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Victoria, Metro Vancouver and other hot real estate markets, has been widely panned in the Okanagan.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of the Central Okanagan says it has caused significant job losses in the industry, by some estimates as high as 22%.

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