April 3, 2018 3:41 pm
Updated: April 3, 2018 3:57 pm

Horgan defends speculation tax during Okanagan visit

Watch Above: B.C.'s premier questioned over speculation tax at a press conference in Penticton.

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During a stop in Penticton on Tuesday, B.C. Premier John Horgan defended his government’s plans to push ahead with its controversial speculation tax.

Kelowna and West Kelowna are among the areas covered by planned tax on some vacant homes aimed at increasing housing affordability.

READ MORE: B.C. government exempting vacation homes from speculation tax


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However, the City of West Kelowna and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce have spoken out against the proposed tax, arguing it would put a chill on development and potentially tank the local real estate market.

When asked about the controversy during a Penticton press conference, Horgan said affordability is a particular challenge in the central Okanagan.

READ MORE: West Kelowna mayor talks speculation tax with finance minister in ‘cordial’ meeting

“We’ve made a commitment to ensure that 99 per cent of British Columbians will not be effected by the speculation tax and those that will be have options available to them. They can rent their … home or their second home for 180 days and be absolved any cost,” Horgan said.

“We set out to cap the explosion in housing costs and we believe the speculation tax and the foreign buyers tax and a range of other initiatives will help do that.”

READ MORE: She hasn’t even owned her home for a month, but might have to sell because of B.C.’s speculation tax

Horgan added that he spoke to the mayor of West Kelowna earlier on Tuesday.

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

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