B.C.’s Finance minister wouldn’t rule out more changes to the speculation tax as she monitors its roll-out and any impacts it might have.
Finance minister Carole James says her government will watch areas where the tax applies and areas like Kamloops where it doesn’t in the event foreign buyers and property speculators migrate in.
“Well I think we are going to have to watch and monitor. That really is the importance I think of looking at doing anything on affordable housing. For years we saw the previous government refuse to move on the crisis that we face. So now we are stuck with a market that really needs a number of measures to try and address it. It is not simple and it is not straight forward. It is certainly something that we are going to monitor and watch over this next year and if adjustments need to be made we will make adjustments.”
James wouldn’t say when or under what conditions a speculation tax could be introduced in the Kamloops area.
“We are continuing to have those conversations with all of the communities including Kamloops and including Penticton about tools that we can utilize. There are communities who have approached us and said they would be interested in for example the foreign buyers tax in there area. There have been other communities that have said they are interested in the modular housing that we put in place.”
She says the tax is targeted at urban areas battling the housing crisis in a bid to force empty units back into the rental pool and to stamp out property speculation.