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UBC prof calls for a further tax on $1 million homes

Last Updated May 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm PST

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Another UBC professor wades into the housing tax controversy

UBC academic pushes for another tax on on $1 million homes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Academic Tom Davidoff has earned the ire of some Point Grey homeowners by advocating for higher taxes on expensive properties. Now, one of his UBC colleagues is entering the fray.

Dr. Paul Kershaw, founder of the non-profit organization Generation Squeeze, is calling for an additional one per cent surtax on properties valued over $1 million as a starting point for an ambitious tax overhaul.

A Tax Shift That Benefits The Vast Majority

“What we want to talk about is less tax on local income, more tax on crazy home values, in order to permit better investment in young and old alike,” explains Kershaw.

“The backlash that we’re hearing about from the $1 million homeowners in Point Grey is kind of getting in the way of the vast majority of us benefiting from a tax shift that actually will help us stretch our incomes further to deal with unaffordability challenges, cool down a crazy housing market, and make sure that we have sufficient revenue to pay for urgent needs like medical care for the aging population, and child care for families raising kids here.”

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Kershaw’s pitch includes the ability to totally defer any new annual housing wealth tax until the property is sold, thus protecting those who are house-rich, yet cash-poor.

As a first step, Generation Squeeze is calling on the provincial government to set up a special commission to examine this tax shift proposal.

“We’re open to a range of refinements,” Kershaw adds.

These proposals may not be popular with Point Grey residents, many of whom are already being affected by a new speculation tax, a new empty homes tax, and a proposed school tax increase.