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West Kelowna  

West Kelowna is continuing efforts to opt out of spec tax

Spec tax still not for us

The City of West Kelowna is reaffirming its stance the city does not fit the criteria and objectives of the province's Speculation and Vacancy Tax.

To that end, the council is again asking the Finance Minister to have the city removed from the tax.

The city put forth its case to Finance Minister Carole James in the fall, explaining why West Kelowna should be excluded.

In 2018, the vacancy rate in the Kelowna Census Municipality, which includes West Kelowna, was 1.9 per cent. It rose to 2.7 per cent in 2019, which is higher than the provincial average of 1.5 per cent.

The increased rate is due, in part, to construction of new rental properties. The city also states it has not yet received promised revenues from the tax associated to West Kelowna.

Council says marginal and unquantified gains are outweighed by the significant negative impacts the tax imposes on the city.

“Council remains committed to be removed from the SVT, which continues to be damaging to our community,” says Mayor Gord Milsom.

“We are awaiting justification from the Ministry of Finance as to why West Kelowna remains mandated into this tax. We are also requesting a meeting with the Minster this spring as we continue to seek an opt-out option from the SVT.”



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