The NDP’s speculation and vacancy tax will do nothing to make homes more affordable. If you think about who can afford to leave homes empty, it is wealthy people, whether they be foreigners or Canadians. The multi-million-dollar homes are not going to be accessible to low- or middle-income renters if they are sold.
The tax is also not comparable to the homeowners grant, as the NDP have been arguing. Failure to declare the grant on time and the homeowner will pay $570 more in taxes versus thousands for the vacancy tax.
At best, this is an unnecessary bureaucratic inconvenience. At worst, it is an assault on the biggest asset that an average family owns. We should remember this at election time.
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How is it unfair?
An otherwise interesting op-ed by Metro Vancouver YWCA CEO Deb Bryant would have readers believe that there is something inherently wrong with women devoting more time to unpaid family work (3.9 hours per day) than males (2.5 hours per day). This information comes from Statistics Canada 2015 General Social Survey. What Bryant fails to mention is that the same survey shows that men typically spend 1.3 more hours on paid work than women.