With the NDP expected to introduce legislation on housing affordability today, one of the economists who worked on the original white paper says he’s hopeful it will get bipartisan support.
NDP leader John Horgan says his party will table legislation today that will target absentee property owners with a 2% tax on the unit’s value.
Tom Davidoff from the Sauder School of Business says the proposal is based on the B.C. housing affordability fund.
He says the core concept behind it should appeal to parties on both sides of the aisle.
“The Liberals have been very generous with their time and and discussing this as well. This is totally within the free market, this is just saying how do we want to raise revenue.”
Davidoff’s original proposal, developed by a team of Lower Mainland economists, is for a 1.5% annual tax charged to owners who leave their units empty for all or most of the year, and who pay little or no Canadian income tax. That money would be used to offset Metro Vancouver’s high cost of housing in the form of cash payments to residents.
“We really worked hard to come to a proposal. You know when you get 50 plus economists all in the Lower Mainland agreeing on anything its going to be pretty unobjectionable.”
The push for housing legislation comes on the heels of a sold-out NDP-organized “emergency forum” on housing affordability in Vancouver last night.
However despite support from economists, the NDP bill will likely face an uphill battle.
Legislation proposed by opposition members rarely makes it of the legislature floor.