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Andrew Weaver urges government to bring in taxes for real estate speculators and flippers

Blog by Andrew Reid | February 1st, 2018

B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver released a policy statement Wednesday urging the government to implement both a real estate flipping and speculators tax in next month's provincial budget.

Weaver outlined his party's wish list for improving housing affordability in the province at a news conference in Vancouver.

"Despite significant evidence of the role of speculation in driving up prices, government has failed to act on the demand side," said Weaver.

The paper says international and domestic speculators are treating the province's housing stock like commodities to be bought, sold and traded for profit — that prices people with average incomes out of the market.

"Our policies place an emphasis on curbing speculation and the role of global capital in our housing market," said Weaver.

The paper also calls on the NDP to allow local governments to bring in their own vacant homes tax — and to allow for more regulations and restrictions on short term rentals like Airbnb.

On the rental front, the Greens want more supply to be freed up and for new supply to meet the needs of British Columbians, "not wealthy speculators," — and suggested the province rethink zoning in areas along transit lines to create rental-only housing.

Weaver said the Greens will keep up the pressure on government to deliver on his party's recommendations.

Premier John Horgan has said his government will reveal new housing policies in its first full budget Feb. 20.
CBC news