March 13, 2018 11:01 pm

Premier John Horgan defends speculation tax amid backlash

B.C. Premier John Horgan continues to defend the provinces new speculation tax. Liberals, Greens and other interested groups are questioning who exactly will be paying the 2 per cent levy.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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The provincial government continues to defend the controversial speculation tax, which was proposed in an attempt to deal with the ongoing housing affordability crisis.

The proposed tax is expected to be 0.5 per cent in the first year, and go up to two per cent in 2019. But the BC Liberals, the Greens, and other interest groups continue to question who will be affected by this tax?

READ MORE: B.C. speculation tax is still being tinkered with as criticism mounts

“Carole James was very clear on budget day that we were going to aggressively tackle speculation in our real estate market,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan.

He said his government is following on their promise to attack escalating housing costs.

“Carole James said not yesterday, not last week. but on budget day there were going to be budget implementation issues as we go forward,” Horgan said. “The is the first time something like this has been tested.”

WATCH: Will new B.C. budget real estate taxes cool Okanagan market?

There are still details missing on the new tax, but it will apply to homes in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Capital and Nanaimo Regional Districts and Kelowna and West Kelowna.

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James said on Monday that British Columbians who own a number of properties but not renting them out could be impacted by the new levies, this is despite previously stating B.C. taxpayers would not be targeted by the tax.

~With files from Richard Zussman 

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

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