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Kaslo Out of Towners Tax

2532138302_9cbf769f3d_m The municipality of Kaslo has  proposed an novel means of taxing the out-of-towner’s who have decided to buy a piece the Kaslo’s paradise.

Kaslo, B.C. cottage owners may be in for a tax hike

The community on the shores of Kootenay Lake in southeastern B.C. has seen real estate values skyrocket, partly because of speculation by out-of-town property owners, according to Mayor Jim Holland.
“With this resort-style development, there’s increased pressure and demands on the [residential] ratepayer that actually help support some of the more investment-style or development-style or speculative-style of real-estate market,” Holland said.

Some of the comments on the CBC website are pretty damning of the proposal, here’s one from a resident…

Kaslo, B.C. cottage owners may be in for a tax hike

As a person that has lived in Kaslo almost all of my life, I am actually ashamed our our mayor. It’s a cash grab, and that is it. People from out of town that have cottages here, spend their money on local things. From groceries, to gas, to gadgets, to boats.. They, as well as their families, to extended families, to their friends that come to visit, is what keeps our town alive in the summer.
The mayor’s first excuse to raise their taxes, was because the houses required more policing. Hellloooo, it is the local teenagers that cause all the trouble that require more policing. Should their parents be taxed more?? Why not??
Stupid, stupid, stupid!! I guess this is what Kaslo gets for voting in an American.

[ad#125-right]And another from a random commentator…

Thank god that someone somewhere is trying to do something for their community. Prices in all regions have gotten way out of hand. An average person growing up in a small community almost has no chance of ever being a homeowner these days. All thanks to a select group of rich people who buy up all the property for their weekend get aways.

And another…

As in any community that has some natural attributes, Kaslo’s population swells in the summer. How this can be to the communities detriment in any way is absolutely beyond me.

A heated debate over a proposal that has no current legal standing in BC as far as I can tell. I have to agree with one unstated part of the puzzle – municipalities should get a larger share of general taxes, and be less reliant on property and parcel taxes to fund major projects.

Is there a precedent for this anywhere in the world? What are the economic implications for the city regarding tourism? IS the current and potential increase in housing prices above what could be expected in any resort style community in BC?

On another matter, CBC’s acceptance of comments on their stories is a great addition to the site, turning the news into a more social forum, like a blog. Sorry to those who prefer newspapers, radios and televisions – in my life it’s the internet or podcasts that rule.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

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