February 26, 2018 7:30 pm

‘Maybe we’ll just have to sell’: Alberta couple fears impact of B.C. speculation tax

WATCH: BC NDP budget tackles housing affordability crisis


An Edmonton couple who own what they call a retirement property on Vancouver Island says B.C.’s newly announced speculation tax is going to cost them thousands of dollars.

John Pray said it isn’t fair for people who choose to live ‘off the grid,’ and that they have no intention of flipping the home.

“How would you feel if you bought a lake property in Alberta, or a ski property in Banff, and the Alberta government did this to you,” said Pray.

READ MORE: B.C. budget 2018: Government plans to add speculation tax, eliminate MSP

He said he and his wife plan to spend seven months of the year on their lakefront property on Horne Lake when they retire in 2019.

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“We may not pay income tax in B.C., but we certainly have spent a fair amount of money over the years with shopping local, servicing our cars, our cabin,” he said. “You buy groceries, you go to the restaurants. You contribute to B.C.’s economy that way.”

Pray said he and his wife bought the home in 2001, and pay B.C. property taxes.

But he says a two per cent tax on assessed property value will cost him at least $6,000 per year.

“You know, going into retirement, you’ll be on a fixed income. The way our budget is, I might have to reconsider, and maybe that dream doesn’t become a reality. Maybe we’ll just have to sell.”

READ MORE: B.C. budget: new housing taxes might not knock down prices, but they could help tame them

The province says the tax will apply to out of province residents in the city of Nanaimo, but Horne Lake falls within the boundaries of the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Pray hopes his property is exempt from the tax when the provincial government starts collecting next year.

Neither the finance or housing ministries have responded to a request for more information.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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