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

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

MARS Wildlife Rescue offers some tips on keeping hummingbird feeders clean

Mould from dirty hummingbird feeders can be fatal

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

Northern Health Authority expands medical bus use

Over 60 or have mobility challenges? You can now travel on Northern Connections.

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read