Seniors launch speculation tax legal challenge
VICTORIA (CP) — Six homeowners have launched a legal challenge against British Columbia’s speculation and vacancy tax, arguing the law is unconstitutional and the provincial government doesn’t have the power to collect revenues from the levy. The homeowners filed their petition Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. The lead petitioners are two Victoria area residents, Denise Simpson, 72, and her husband Robert Simpson, 93. Four other homeowners from Metro Vancouver have joined the petition. Lawyer Kailin Che, whose firm Lawrence Wong and Associates is representing the homeowners, says Denise Simpson is a Canadian citizen and has lived in her home since she was five. She inherited the home from her mother 20 years ago.
“In her words, it’s the last piece of physical connection she has to her family, who have all passed away,” Che said.
The Simpsons are joint owners of the property and both their names are on the property title, but Robert is a U.S. citizen. They live part of the year in Texas, which under the speculation tax means the Simpsons are classified as a satellite family and that results in a $6,000 tax bill.