On Tuesday evening, dozens of homeowners in a tony Vancouver neighbourhood protested over a proposed property-tax hike, with many saying they felt unfairly targeted by the BC government over a dramatic surge in property value which made them “paper millionaires”.
The backlash against the ruling NDP government’s plan to increase school taxes on homes assessed above $3m in 2019 was so severe that BC Attorney General David Eby was forced to cancel a town hall meeting in his Vancouver-Point Grey riding.
Eby told CTV Vancouver that the students and volunteers tasked with overseeing security would have been put at risk if scores of protestors had crashed the meeting.
Homeowners expressed their outrage at a rally held in Trimble Park in the afternoon. Demonstrators accused the government of seeking to claw back home equity, and many called for Eby’s resignation.
The tax hike, which was introduced as part of the BC government’s 2018-19 budget, is projected to generate $200m in the 2019-20 fiscal year, a four-fold increase from the previous year.
The hike would have been widely felt in Vancouver-Point Grey, as the provincial electoral district is home to some of the province’s most expensive real estate, including lululemon athletica founder Chip Wilson’s house on Point Grey Road, which is currently valued at $78.8m.
However, many residents say the value locked in their pricey homes is unrelated to their incomes.
“This tax is an eviction notice to my family,” one protestor said.
Also read: BC government seriously considered imposing capital gains tax on flippers
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