This South Surrey mansion will set you back $28 million. (Remax)

David Eby cancels town hall due to ‘safety concerns’ after school tax protest planned

Protesters say the school tax targets the elderly, not the rich

Vancouver-Point Grey MLA David Eby has cancelled his school tax town hall on Tuesday night, citing safety issues after a counter-rally was planned.

Starting in 2019, a tax rate of 0.2 per cent will apply to the portion of a home’s assessed residential value that is between $3 million and $4 million, excluding stratified rentals. A tax rate of 0.4 per cent would apply to all home value over $4 million.

In a statement, Eby said that encouragement from the opposition for non-registered attendees to crash the ticket-only event made his staff uncertain that they could keep the event safe.

“The final straw was the rescheduling of the protest for ‘angry’ people to ‘march on in’ to the event an hour and a half before the event itself, making it impossible for us to secure the venue in advance,” said Eby.

The NDP’s increase of the school tax has faced opposition since it was introduced by the government during February’s budget.

READ MORE: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Rally organizer MaryAnn Cummings, who lives in Eby’s riding, called the tax “predatory” and said that the tax “ignores an owners ability to pay it.”

Cumming said that the only thing the tax would do is force elderly people, who own expensive homes but do not have a matching high income, out of their homes.

“It’s imaginary money,” she said.

“Let’s say that I am forced out of my home? Who do you think is going to be able to buy it? I think the only people who are going to buy it are the global elites… foreign nationals.”

The increased school tax would increase taxes paid on a $4 million property would be $2,000 but an inability to pay does not mean homeowners are immediately kicked out of their homes.

READ MORE: NDP pushes for purpose-built rentals in ‘historic’ $1.6B investment

School taxes can be deferred by those over 55, surviving spouses and people with disabilities.

But Cummings said that using your home “as a bank machine” is “not something that most sensible people do not do, it’s a bad thing.”

Cummings said that if the NDP were serious about targeting the wealthy, they should be upping income taxes, not ones based on home values.

“This robs from the elderly, it steals their savings,” she said.

The rally kicks off at 5 p.m. at 2250 Trimble Street in Vancouver. It was originally scheduled for St James Community Square, by Eby’s office.

Correction: The previous version of the story said that the additional tax value on a $4 million home is $800,000. As the extra tax is only paid on the value over $3 million, the extra tax would be $2,000.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Commen-Terry: Helping Hands to benefit flood victims

Fundraising concert Feb. 7 in Courtenay for those affected by Mariner Apartment flood

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

K’ómoks First Nation re-elects Chief Rempel

Chief Rempel re-elected for her second term; three new Councillors elected

Comox council allocates $20,000 for dog park consultation

With interim measures in place, Comox council has decided to proceed with… Continue reading

Vehicle collides with building in downtown Courtenay

No major injuries were reported late Monday morning as a car drove… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

YANA Online Auction runs until Feb. 8

Items include four pairs of tickets to sold-out Big Love Dinner

North Island College Activity Assistant program returns

Learn more at a free information session Feb. 9 - pre-registration required

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

One-third of pregnant women think cannabis won’t harm their baby: UBC

Review of six U.S. studies found doctors didn’t communicate health risks of pot use

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

Auto shop apologizes after Vancouver Island employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

Most Read