Retiring couple forced to sell in a cooler market with new B.C. tax

by Ephraim Vecina10 Aug 2016
Joe Notting of Surrey, British Columbia was looking forward to a quiet retirement with his wife in a downsized home, but the province’s implementation of a new tax that took effect last week has dampened those hopes as the couple will now be forced to sell their old house in a reduced-demand environment.
Notting said that the couple entered in a deal to sell their old home the day before the announcement of the tax in late July. The very next day, the would-be buyers backed out as they were unable to shell out the extra $250,000 that would be required by the new levy.
“Part of the sale was to deal with our retirement. I don't have any official pension plans other than what we've been able to save,” Notting told CBC News.
“In today's newspaper there's a photo of the premier with the quote, ‘British Columbians first.’ I sent a note to my MLA and asked, ‘Which ones? It's not me,’” Notting added.
The long-time shop owner noted that the tax—which the B.C. government assured was meant to cool down the overheated Vancouver housing segment—is not addressing the fundamental problem of supply shortage.
“I certainly don't disagree with some sort of tax or measure taken,” Notting said. “But how quick are you going to get social housing off the ground? This isn't going to help affordability.”
“We're just the middle of the road taxpayer. We're always paying our taxes. We're always there,” he lamented. “Why wouldn't they just say everything that was in place [before the tax was brought in] is going to be grandfathered? ‘We won't put people in jeopardy.’ How many people are in jeopardy?”

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