A waterfront property for sale in Lantzville. The District of Lantzville has been included in a provincial government speculation tax that applies to a handful of urban areas including City of Nanaimo and the Victoria region. (Nicholas Pescod/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo, Lantzville express concerns after speculation tax tweaks

District of Lantzville councillors want meeting with B.C. finance minister

Properties in Lantzville have been included in a provincial government speculation tax and local politicians want to know why.

During a council meeting on Monday night, Lantzville councillors voted unanimously in favour of scheduling a meeting with Carole James, the province’s minister of finance, after her government recently indicated that a speculation tax will apply to properties located within the District of Lantzville.

The provincial government announced Monday that the District of Lantzville and the City of Nanaimo would continue to subject to the speculation tax, while properties located elsewhere in the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands would no longer be subject to the tax.

Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime, who made the motion, told councillors he only found out about the government’s announcement from another councillor moments before the meeting began, adding that it only applies to Lantzville and Nanaimo but has no idea how it will work.

“How this tax is going to work has not been determined yet, so therefore the impact on individual citizens is tough to determine,” he said.

The provincial government’s decision to remove a number of municipalities and regions from the tax, comes after the Regional District of Nanaimo and municipalities complained about the tax’s impact on development in their regions.

According to a release on the province’s website, the speculation tax will not apply to primary residences in B.C. and is intended to target “foreign and domestic speculators” as well as “satellite” families, high-income households that pay little income tax in B.C.

Foreigners and satellite families who rent out their non-primary residence can avoid the tax, while Canadians who live outside of B.C. can be exempted from the the tax by renting out their property for six months of the year.

RELATED: RDN wants speculation tax called off

RELATED: Regional district will register its objection to speculation tax

The province has set this year’s tax 0.5 per cent of the property’s assessed value.

Speaking to the News Bulletin, Haime said while he doesn’t believe the tax will achieve what the government thinks it will, he wants to meet with the minister to understand the rationale for including Lantzville in the tax, adding that there seems to be no logic behind it.

“I am certainly willing to listen to the minister and hear their thoughts on why Lantzville was included and why a neighbouring area such as Nanoose was not included?” he said.

He questioned why major vacation destinations such as Tofino and Whistler are excluded from the tax, while Lantzville remains in the tax.

“It’s kind of all over the place. If there was a base philosophy and a base approach that was evenly presented, that would make sense,” he said, adding he doubts the tax will have a significant impact in Lantzville.

Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay brought up the speculation tax changes at Monday’s city council meeting and suggested it’s poor governing to make policy changes on the fly.

“This legislation was introduced in the budget with very, very little detail and now here we are as a community trying to struggle with how it may affect our economy, affect homeowners, affect owners of properties in our community,” he said.

The RDN, meanwhile, issued a statement thanking James for taking time to meet recently and listening to the regional district’s concerns.

“We are pleased that further consideration was given to how, who and where the tax will impact, and that the province will continue to study the impacts of the tax,” noted Bill Veenhof, RDN board chairman, in a press release. “The RDN will continue to focus improving housing affordability in our region and working with the province on this important initiative. We will continue to work with and support our partner municipalities the City of Nanaimo and District of Lantzville who remain affected by the speculation tax.”

B.C. Sepculation Tax by Nanaimo News Bulletin on Scribd


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Just Posted

Motorcycle and minivan involved in serious crash in north Nanaimo

Firefighter says it wasn’t known if motorcyclist would survive

Lantzville man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday

Trick-or-treaters, and everyone else, welcomed to the Crescent

Victoria Crescent neighbourhood partners with City of Nanaimo on new welcome signs

Regional District of Nanaimo board will be almost all new

Only 3-4 directors out of 19 returning to RDN board table

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Red Sox beat Dodgers 8-4 in Game 1 of World Series

Benintendi has 4 hits as Boston cruises at Fenway

Island Health encourages sexual assault survivors to #TrustYourself

New social media campaign urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

Most Read