B.C. Premier John Horgan talks housing affordability at a home in Nanaimo last week. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

B.C. Premier says speculation tax won’t impact most Lantzville residents

Lantzville requesting exemption from speculation and vacancy tax

It remains to be seen whether the provincial government will grant the District of Lantzville an exemption from the speculation tax.

Earlier this week, Lantzville councillors voted to send letter to Carole James, B.C. minister of finance, requesting the district be exempt from the speculation tax and empty homes tax, citing concerns around its implementation.

In a brief interview with the News Bulletin, B.C. Premier John Horgan didn’t say whether he would consider granting Lantzville’s request, instead explaining that the government has spent the last year ensuring there are exemptions to “protect those people who were not speculating” but somehow “found themselves” with a vacant home. He also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to meet with municipalities next year to address any issues.

“We’ve also committed to consult with mayors and that would include the District of Lantzville council in the next year to see what the impact and consequences have been,” Horgan said. “At that time, I am certainly confident that Carole [James] will be able to address those issues.”

Horgan said the speculation tax is here to stay since legislation for it has passed following “ample” debate, adding that people have had more than a year to figure out the intricacies of the tax. He also said very few people in Lantzville will actually be impacted by the tax.

“I think when we look at the results after 12 months, Lantzville will come around to understand that there is a very small number of people affected by this and they can avoid the tax by filling their home with people,” he said.

RELATED: Lantzville asking for speculation tax exemption from B.C. government

RELATED: RDN wants speculation tax called off

RELATED: Regional district will register its objection to speculation tax

RELATED: Nanaimo, Lantzville express concerns after speculation tax tweaks

The provincial government has taken some heat recently after announcing that all homeowners are required to apply for an exemption from the tax on an annual basis, regardless of whether they have an empty home or not.

Horgan said while he recognizes there has been frustration around the requirement, he doesn’t believe filling out a form is a big deal.

“Citizens fill out forms all the time. You give information to Google and Netflix all the time. You fill out forms all the time. So, somehow when government asks for information this is heresy and I just don’t buy that,” he said. “I understand that people are frustrated but the number of people that will be affected by this in financial terms is so small.”

The implementation of the tax hasn’t been poor according to Horgan, who blamed the Liberals for making it more of an issue that it was. He acknowledged that the government could have done a better job of communicating.

“Always, you can do better but we did what we could with the time available,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram


Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cassidy can’t support airport development

Environmental assessment needed on land overtop of aquifer, says letter writer

Sound mixer stolen from Nanaimo nightclub

Nanaimo RCMP ask for tips about theft of sound mixer from Koncept Nightclub

Memorial for drug overdose victims on display at St. Paul’s Church in Nanaimo

Flags of Hope Overdose Awareness Display at Chapel Street church until Aug. 29

QB McGarvey steers V.I. Raiders to first win of 2019 season

Raiders blow out Kamloops Broncos in home opener in Nanaimo

Traffic back to normal after accident at Island Highway-Brechin Road in Nanaimo

Accident involved truck and taxi at turn lane leading to Departure Bay ferry terminal

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 15

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Most Read