Wilkinson continues to fight speculation tax even after learning over 99 per cent of British Columbians won’t pay it

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VICTORIA – Last week, Finance Minister Carole James confirmed that over 99 per cent of British Columbians will not pay the speculation tax, and that British Columbians’ rural vacation homes will be exempt. But that didn’t stop Andrew Wilkinson from standing up for the top one per cent and foreign speculators by continuing to fight the tax.

“Our government stands with the overwhelming majority of British Columbians who want to tackle speculation and make housing more affordable,” said Housing Minister Selina Robinson. “After 16 years of skyrocketing housing costs under the BC Liberals, it’s astonishing that Andrew Wilkinson is still finding excuses to protect the top one per cent and foreign real estate speculators.”

Wilkinson knows the tax will primarily impact wealthy non-resident speculators who don’t pay taxes in British Columbia. He also knows the very few British Columbians who will pay are those with vacant homes worth more than $400,000 located in specified major urban areas, and who refuse to rent them out.

Wilkinson simply thinks it’s unfair to ask wealthy speculators to pay a little more to make housing more affordable, complaining that “what the NDP are doing is taxing people’s savings.”

Two weeks ago, Wilkinson came out against the NDP’s taxes on luxury homes, arguing that the changes “will negatively impact housing affordability” for people buying homes worth more than $3 million.

“For 16 years, Andrew Wilkinson’s BC Liberals worked only for their rich friends while making life more expensive for everyone else,” said Robinson. “His plan to give real estate speculators a break would mean even higher housing costs for British Columbians.”

Victoria resident Lance Ratzka is one of the many British Columbians who are in favour of the tax, and had this to say: “I return to the capital region with two degrees from SFU and UBC, work as a Registered Nurse, live in a dual income household; yet we can barely afford a place to buy. This is why I am in support of the Speculation Tax. There are thousands upon thousands of us supporting these measures and waiting for an opportunity to be able to buy, to be able to rent affordably and these measures will do that.”