CHBA denounce a new tax adding $7,000 to all new units

Home Builders pan park tax

The Central Okanagan chapter of the Canadian Home Builders Association has come down hard against a new tax which will increase the average cost of a new home by more than $7,000.

Under the bylaw adopted by city council Monday, developers will have to pay an additional $7,180 for each unit built, regardless of size, for park acquisition and development.

"While we support the idea of a parks DCC in general, there is no doubt that this version will only push home ownership further out of reach for those looking to call Kelowna home," the association said in a statement Wednesday.

"The DCC in its current form sends a message to aspiring home owners that home ownership is a dream for only the wealthiest."

The association says it was engaged with the city for about a year over the proposed tax.

They argued most new construction is done for local residents, while building and maintaining parks should be done through a mix of development charges, property taxes and tourism taxes.

They also state the additional DCC charge is in direct opposition to council's stated priorities, including:

  • Increasing density within existing lots - Building a fourplex instead of a single family home will increase builder costs by $25,000 in DCCs alone. Costs such as these actively discourage densifying the city of Kelowna.
  • Top talent is living in Kelowna - If all new homes, regardless of size, are charged the same amount, those looking to start their career in Kelowna may end up looking to communities such as West Kelowna or Lake Country for home ownership.

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