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B.C. housing tax tainted by Trumpism: Sam Sullivan

Polls say a new tax that the B.C. government plans to introduce later this year is popular among British Columbians, but to BC Liberal housing critic Sam Sullivan, it carries an ugly tinge of Trumpism.

“They’re going to build a [metaphorical] wall, keep the foreigners out and make the foreigners pay for it,” Sullivan told Business in Vancouver about a tax first revealed in the February 20 budget. He called the tax “xenophobic.”

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“Remember that a budget is ideology without the rhetoric. They haven’t said, ‘Build that wall,’ but they’ve done it through their budget.”

The B.C. government calls the measure a “speculation tax,” even though it is not a tax on homes that are flipped within a year or two of being purchased. The tax will start at 0.5% of a property’s assessed value in the 2018 tax year and rise to 2% of a property’s assessed value in future years. It will be levied on non-resident owners of second homes in specific parts of B.C. – Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Vancouver Island regions of Victoria and Nanaimo, and the municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna in the southern Interior.

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