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NDP leader writes open letter to the premier over foreign buyers tax

Last Updated Sep 7, 2016 at 4:28 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

NDP leader calls on the premier to tweak the tax before the fall sitting of the Legislature

The Opposition calls the levy "ill considered"

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The leader of the New Democrats is calling the premier out over her foreign buyers tax in an open letter.

John Horgan claims the expanded property transfer tax does nothing for the affordability issues in this province.

Calling the legislation passed by the BC Liberals “ill-considered,” Horgan says the tax doesn’t make renting or buying a home any more affordable. He claims the law is failing to address what he call are those “real problems” facing those living on the Lower Mainland.

“Christy Clark has now called our housing market a ‘bubble’ and finally admits there‚Äôs a real affordability crisis for people and families, but her actions have done nothing to make the rental or purchase of a home more affordable,” says Horgan in a statement.

He highlights loopholes in the law which allow foreign investors to find ways around paying the levy, all the while hurting people who move here from elsewhere to work — a blow for companies trying to recruit specialists from outside the country.

The Opposition is also calling out the BC Liberals, saying the tax was brought in without the provincial government having considered possible consequences.

Horgan is calling on Clark to tweak the tax. “Your inaction over the past two years has created an affordability crisis in the Lower Mainland real estate market. Your inaction has made it nearly impossible for average British Columbians to find a home to buy or rent in the Lower Mainland,” writes Horgan. “With that in mind, I strongly encourage you to take steps to remedy the shortcomings in Bill 28 during the fall sitting of the Legislature.”

This letter comes after new numbers show the number of home sales across the region since the tax was introduced have dropped, but that prices have remained stable.

We are hoping to hear from the premier this afternoon.