Se­niors launch spec­u­la­tion tax le­gal chal­lenge

The Prince George Citizen - - Local -

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.

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