Thank you, City of Parksville councillors, for stepping up to address the speculation tax fiasco (Parksville pushes back on tax, The NEWS, March 8). Now we are looking for Qualicum Beach councillors to do the same. Both towns understand that tourism and visitors from out of province are vital to maintaining a healthy local economy.
While our primary residence is in Ontario we have owned a modest property in a co-op since 2009. We are not speculators by any stretch — indeed, rentals are not allowed in our senior-oriented park. The assessed value of our home has moved very little along with the actual market value. This is a vacation home where we spend quality time since we are now fully retired. We love Vancouver Island and have many family and friends here. We always felt welcome and it felt like home — until now.
As residents of Qualicum Beach we pay property taxes, car insurance, house insurance and utility bills. We also hire local tradespeople for roofing and other repairs, buy gas and groceries, eat out locally — all contributing to the Island economy.
Frankly we are shocked by this ill-thought-out speculation tax grab and the targeting of seniors and retirees. The Parksville Qualicum Beach area will be heavily impacted, since tourism and real estate are driving forces in this economy.
We ask that local town councils continue to press the B.C. government on this critical issue. We also ask that senior Canadian non-residents in the Qualicum/Parksville area be exempt.