Saanich has supported this motion: Notice of Motion from Councillor Wergeland at the April 9, 2018 Council meeting requesting that Council support the issuance of a letter to the Provincial Ministry of Finance requesting that the Speculation Tax not include the District of Saanich.
Wergeland, Brice, Sanders, Harper and Atwall were supportive of the motion. The discussion was essentially that this is an “empty homes tax”, the word speculation has unnecessary negative connotations, this would place an unreasonable tax burden on Saanich residents, Saanich does not have a problem with empty homes and that Saanich is focussing on increasing the housing supply to try to address some of the issues around affordability and supply. There was some discussion around the difficulties of dealing with tenants in BC and how it’s not easy to rent for only 6 months.
Those opposed to the motion essentially wanted more information. It seemed as though Murdock and Brownoff support the tax (unsurprisingly).
They also passed a motion to request a meeting with Ministry of Finance staff to discuss in person why Saanich is opposed to this speculation tax and to try to gain more information.