Marvin Hunt, MLA, Surrey-Cloverdale Photo: Ray Hudson

Maple Ridge: Maple Ridge homeowners could be in for a shock as tax notices for the BC NDP’s new Speculation Tax start arriving throughout the city. Despite its name, this tax is being billed to every homeowner and it’s up to them to prove they are exempt. Anyone who doesn’t file a declaration by March 31, 2019 will be charged the full tax rate – speculator or not.

“This is a tax that’s made no sense from the beginning,” says Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Marvin Hunt. “To start, this so-called Speculation Tax won’t actually target speculators. Instead, British Columbians are going to make up the vast majority of people paying it.

“This tax is made even more baffling when you look at how the NDP has chosen to implement it,” continues Hunt. “By charging every homeowner for this tax unless they can prove they qualify for an exemption, the NDP has created a backwards ‘guilty-until-proven-innocent’ system. This unnecessarily bureaucratic process is going to cost Maple Ridge residents time, money, or both.”

The Speculation Tax won’t be the only new tax hitting homeowners. The Employer Health Tax – which the NDP brought in to replace the MSP – is also taking effect this year. This new tax will cost the City of Maple Ridge an additional $700,000 annually – meaning property taxes could soon be on the way up.