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Belcarra home owners forced to pay vacancy tax hope for exemption next year

Last Updated Jul 12, 2019 at 2:15 pm PDT

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Summary

Mayor Belenkie says he doubts a meeting in September with Carole James will exclude his village from the speculation tax

Belenkie says nothing has changed since the tax was imposed last year against owners of empty homes

BELCARRA (NEWS 1130) –┬áSeptember 12th is too late.

That’s what Belcarra Mayor Neil Belenkie says after learning that’s how long he has to wait to find out if some recreational landowners in his village will keep being forced to pay BC’s speculation tax.

“The date of that meeting is set for the following year, so I mean, the residents in Belcarra, they’ve already been billed for their last year. The NDP is not willing to consider an exemption for last year’s tax season.”

He says he doubts a meeting in September with BC’s Finance Minister will result in his village being exempted from the province’s speculation tax, adding nothing has┬áchanged since Carole James imposed it last year against the owners of empty homes not suitable for renting out or cabins only accessible by boat.

“I’m so concerned that, with no new information, I don’t know how to apply any differently than I did before. They’re either willing to consider for this year or they’re not. The data’s already there and I’m sure they’ve already made their decision.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>September 12th too late. That&#39;s what <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Belcarra?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Belcarra</a> Mayor <a href=”https://twitter.com/neilbelenkie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@neilbelenkie</a> says after learning that&#39;s how long he has to wait to find out if some recreational land owners in his village –forced to pay <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BC</a>&#39;s speculation tax this year– have to pay it again in 2020. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcpoli?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#bcpoli</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/NEWS1130?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@NEWS1130</a></p>&mdash; Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Bernardo1130/status/1149774933662113792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 12, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

He adds local MLA Rick Glumac and Minister James have repeatedly refused to explain why Whistler has been exempted, while most cabins impacted in his community are only accessible by boat.

“The fact that they weren’t exempted when it was so obvious that they weren’t the targets gives me little hope that there’s going to be an after-the-fact exemption or reimbursement for the tax that they’ve had to pay. They could have exempted Belcarra without opening a Pandora’s Box and they chose not to.”

On Thursday, we learned the first year of the tax –aimed at cracking down on homes left vacant by foreign buyers– brought in 115-million dollars from approximately 12-thousand property owners.