Speculation tax will drive people away

Goodbye, Victoria!

I don’t want to have to say those words, but the proposed new B.C. speculation tax might leave me no choice.

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You see, my wife and I have all of sudden been labelled Not Welcome Citizens by the B.C. government. We have lived in Victoria for the past five winters, happily escaping the cold in eastern Canada. We have family here. We have many good friends here. We pay property taxes here. We enjoy supporting the arts here. And, we spend a lot of money each year with local businesses and institutions, just like everyone else who lives here.

Yet our “sin,” for which the government thinks we should pay more than $17,000 every year, is to leave our downtown Victoria home each summer to live in Ontario, where our children live and where we have our principal residence.

The B.C. government says that this tax will help make Victoria real estate more affordable. To me, that is a complete fallacy. What the result will be is to hurt the local economy by scaring away people like us — of which there must be thousands — who don’t appreciate being treated as second-class citizens in our own country.

We have enjoyed living here immensely, but if this tax remains in place, we will be forced to choose another nice spot to spend the winter.

Neil Baird

Victoria

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