Owners of vacation properties and part-time residences at locations such as Shoal Point in Victoria could be unfairly penalized under the province’s proposed real estate speculation tax, says letter writer. Photo by Victoria Condominium Guide

Part-time Victorian feels ‘betrayed’ by province over speculation tax

Active community member doubts further family foundation money will come to Victoria

Re: B.C. speculation tax

My wife and I are Ontario residents. Shortly after retiring from teaching in London, I was able to use the proceeds from the sale of my parents’ residence to purchase a vacation property.

We chose Victoria over Florida or Mexico because as Canadians, we felt safer in Canada from the kind of punitive tax that may now cost us our property in B.C. We guessed wrong.

RELATED: Saanich MLA Popham defends speculation tax

In our 17 years of living part-time in Victoria, our condo assessment has a little more than doubled, but taxes, condo fees and assessments have also increased. We keep a car full time and pay 12 months for utilities. We cannot stay much longer than we do without risking our Ontario health care, but other family members also make use of the property.

The purchase was never intended as an investment per se; there was and still is risk. Until the condo is sold – hopefully not in my lifetime, but now maybe – it is an ever-increasing expense and we will probably never realize any gain personally, although my children may, and they will be taxed on any gains. We are not, in any sense, real estate speculators.

RELATED: Legal action against B.C. speculation tax a last resort

We are very much a part of life here in Victoria and attend many events. We have been involved with the Symphony, the Conservatory of Music, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Belfry Theatre, among others. I have been a member of the Board of Directors of Pacific Opera Victoria for seven years. We are also actively involved with the pleasant and sociable people at our condominium.

As a member of an Ontario-based private foundation, I have been able to direct significant funds to arts and cultural organizations in Victoria. However, as an out-of-province Canadian now accused of real estate speculation and potentially “fined” accordingly, further interprovincial co-operation is unlikely.

As a Canadian who wanted to spend retirement in Canada, I feel betrayed.

James M. Good

Part-time Victoria resident

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