VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A so-called real estate war pitting middle class homeowners against wealthy speculators is the focus of a new Maclean’s article on the possible impact of a new school tax.
Anger is also being directed at the NDP government, and one local real estate developer is expecting that resentment to grow.
Allan De Genova, who’s also a former park board member, says the Maclean’s piece sheds some much-needed light on the growing divide between speculators and people who’ve spent years building equity in their homes.
“It’s the majority of these people that have worked so hard and saved and bought their home and been in it for five plus years, some even longer, are now going to be taxed to the point where they cannot afford another dime.”
He says blue collar workers that have joined with another family in order to purchase a home will be hurt with this tax.
“People have had enough, they feel they’re being taxed from every avenue, it’s beyond their means now and you can feel the groundswell of how communities throughout the city are getting together,” says De Genova who adds the people hurt most by the tax aimed at making housing more affordable will likely revolt.
“Really it’s backfiring and anybody looking for affordability is actually finding they’re digging themselves further backwards than forwards, so it’s just not working,” he says. “The revolt is becoming, from the groundswell, to be greater. And it’s not going to be pleasant.”
He’s also suggesting it’s not too late for the government to change the tax and give middle class owners a break.
“Really who’s being affected here are the ones who are the entry level getting in–and when I say entry level, there’s nothing under $1-million. A lot of these homes at $1.5-million, to just over $2-million, again are shared incomes and shared families are feeling the impact,” he says.
The article by Maclean’s Business Editor Joe Castaldo features longtime homeowners talking about how they drive a 1990’s Toyota, but new neighbours are pulling up in a Ferrari.
“The one’s that are in the $3-million homes and up how do you feel sorry for them in the sense you now their taxes are up their home values are up. But who’s really being hit hard here are these ones that are on the margin now where this tax is really going to crush them. We’re going to see some foreclosures coming up.”
He says the government thinks the ones that can afford the tax are complaining and looking for a loophole, but that’s not the case.
“These families are beyond what I’ve ever seen before.”