Central Okanagan business and development groups band together against speculation tax - InfoNews

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Central Okanagan business and development groups band together against speculation tax

April 10, 2018 - 4:00 PM

CENTRAL OKANAGAN - A group of business, tourism and development organizations have banded together demanding the provincial government scrap the recently-introduced speculation tax.

In an open letter mailed to members today, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Carmen Sparg urged members to support the Scrap the Speculation Tax campaign.

“We, along with other local business organizations, believe this tax will not make housing more affordable for average working families in the City of Kelowna. In fact we believe it has the potential to do the exact opposite by driving away investment in our community,” Sparg said.

Attempts to get exemption for Kelowna and West Kelowna have failed as have pleas to put the speculation tax on hold, Sparg said in her letter.

Sparg did not respond to a request for an interview.

Besides the Kelowna Chamber, organizations backing the campaign include the Canadian Home Builders Association Central Okanagan, Urban Development Institute Capital Region and Okanagan, Independent Contractors of British Columbia, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Peachland Chamer of Commerce and Tourism Victoria.

Both Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater have slammed the speculation tax, introduced in February by the provincial government as a way to combat real estate speculation and low vacancy rates.

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