The NDP, if elected, plans to implement an exemption-heavy 2% levy on non-resident home owners and foreign buyers. This smelled a little 'off' to me at first glance, but once I read the exemptions carefully, and PURELY as a non-partisan opinion, I think it's somewhat fair. The key factor here is getting the exemptions RIGHT.
I believe in market forces and their natural ebb and flow. Therefore I am more pro-supply than I am pro-'stifle demand'. However, I do believe that 1) when it comes to homes and communities, dwellings should be getting physically used as homes, and 2) when it comes to taxes, if a non-taxpayer owns a dwelling and they are not contributing to that dwelling's community or nation in any other way than property taxes, there should be an extra contribution to the local tax-base by that owner.
The solution to fairly balancing a free-market nation/economy's citizens rights to participating in a free-market way or attracting investment, against the needs of local communities, is complicated. Clark's solution was simple, ham-fisted, and caused a lot of unfair collateral damage. No matter who gets into power this spring, this NDP proposal is a complicated solution for a complicated problem that gets a lot of things right and provides a lot of ways to make sure the right people are impacted while minimizing 'collateral damage'.
Though the liberals will likely take advantage of all its potentially confusing minutiae to spin the heck out of it negatively, I would hope that if they get in, they'd actually adopt some of these ideas and implement them.
Find details at this link:
BC NDP's housing critic David Eby: Problem with Liberals' foreign buyer tax is that it doesn't affect those who bought before the tax was introduced