B.C. Liberals quick to dismiss proposal to make homes more affordable for B.C. families

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VICTORIA – The Liberal government was too quick to dismiss a proposal this week that would make buying a home more affordable for hard-working British Columbians, say the New Democrats.

“The Liberal finance minister really showed what side he’s on when he shot down an idea from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce that would lower the property transfer tax for B.C. residents,” said New Democrat finance critic Mike Farnworth. “He clearly isn’t on the side of hard-working B.C. families.”

John Winter, CEO of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce proposed a shift in the property transfer tax to favour B.C. residents – one per cent over the entire purchase instead of the current 2-tiered structure. The proposal would see purchases from foreign investors make up for the loss to the provincial treasury.

“Without even taking a moment to reflect, the B.C. Liberal finance minister shot the idea down,” said Farnworth. “Young families with children are getting priced out of the housing market. New ideas that help address issues as important as housing affordability deserve to be taken seriously.

Farnworth said he has contacted Mr. Winter’s office to discuss the proposal further.

“The 2014 projected average price of a detached home in Victoria is over $600,000” said Farnworth. “In Vancouver, it’s over $1.2 million. Even our Northern communities can’t escape the escalating cost of buying a home. The average cost of a home in Terrace shot up more than 15 per cent last year.”

“Every idea that makes purchasing a home more affordable for B.C. families is at least worth exploring.”