VANCOUVER – As the B.C. Government prepares to reconvene at the beginning of October, mass uncertainty looms over the controversial speculation tax.
First announced as part of the provincial government’s plan to address the housing affordability crisis, the negative economic impacts of the proposed tax have created widespread uncertainty across the province.
Homeowners and potential homeowners have already begun to abandon plans of new homes in a variety of regions both inside and outside the boundaries. The tax has impacted prospective homeowners’ affordability calculations, either immediately or if the tax was to expand in the future.
Additionally, tradespeople across British Columbia, along with suppliers and business owners, are already battling a significant decline in projects. Over the past year, an estimated 199,249 jobs were created or maintained as a result of new housing projects including renovations and repairs. That number is set to decline if the tax goes ahead as planned.
“Contracts continue to be cancelled across the province and the government has seemed to completely disregard the interprovincial nature of B.C.’s workforce,” says Neil Moody, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia.
“Each contract makes a difference for local businesses and their workers. We are all concerned about housing affordability, but with so many questions left unanswered, this tax will not help us get there.”
Although the government has expressed specific geographical regions in which the tax will be implemented, many concerns remain about who the tax will actually be affecting. The tax, as it has been explained thus far, has been designed in a way that provides no distinction between an appropriately used vacation or second home and one that is truly vacant.
The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia, is the leading advocate of the residential construction industry in B.C. Advocating to #StopTheTax, the association is working to educate British Columbians on the impacts of the policy. Visit www.stopthetax.ca to learn more.