VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The housing affordability crisis could be a ballot box issue in next month’s Vancouver civic by-election, at least if one candidate for council gets her way.
Jean Swanson, a well-known anti-poverty advocate, is proposing a mansion tax. She says it’s simple. Income tax is progressive, so why isn’t property tax? “There’s a lower rate for poorer people, a middle rate for middle income, and a higher rate for richer people. But for property tax, there’s just one rate. And it seems like sort of a crime.”
That’s why she’s pitching the idea. “…Of an extra one per cent on the value of a mansion that’s over $5 million and an extra two per cent on the value of a mansion that’s over $10 million.”
And to drive the point home, Swanson and her supporters marched this afternoon from Volunteer Park in Kitsilano to Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s $65 million home on Point Grey Road, one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the city.
If her idea is voted in on October 14th, Swanson also promises to push for an extra one per cent property tax on homes valued at $5 million and above and an extra two per cent homes worth more than $10 million. The money from those levies would go into funding affordable housing initiatives.