Falcon says Speculation and Vacancy Tax unfair to 1% with empty second homes

Kevin Falcon is defending the fewer than 1% of British Columbians who pay the Speculation and Vacancy Tax on second properties left empty in cities hard hit by the housing crisis.

Recently, Falcon said the tax was unfair to those with multiple vacant properties:

"Two thirds of the speculation tax is paid for by British Columbians. These are not speculators. These are people that have a second property and they're being forced to pay, you know, an additional cost." (Video)

Falcon has opposed the BC NDP’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax since it was introduced in 2018.

“In the middle of a housing crisis, Kevin Falcon is more concerned for people who already own multiple homes than he is for those hit by this crisis,” said NDP candidate for Vancouver-Quilchena Jeanette Ashe. “He’s looking out for those who have profited off the housing crisis, not for people who are trying to find a home they can actually afford.”

StatCan data shows that the Speculation and Vacancy Tax, along with other NDP measures to curb demand, created a 5.6% increase in the number of first time homebuyers in 2018 and 2019. At the same time, the number of repeat buyers decreased 10.1%.

The CMHC has previously reported that the Speculation and Vacancy Tax has turned 18,000 empty condos into homes that renters live in.

“The Speculation and Vacancy Tax is working to put more homes on the market for renters and first time buyers,” said NDP MLA Ravi Kahlon. “Kevin Falcon’s plan to scrap it because he thinks it’s unfair to the 1% with vacant second properties will take housing away from everyone else. People can’t afford that.”