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With higher B.C. property tax rates for out-of-province owners, it makes sense that buyers will gravitate back to “affordable, welcoming Alberta,” Kernick noted.

Frank O'Brien

dHz Media Media Coverage, Spring Creek in the news

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Business in Vancouver reports on Spring Creek, Canmore and the new B.C. speculation tax.

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British Columbia’s speculation tax, which slaps a hefty penalty on out-of-province buyers, is seen as a threat to the seasonal property market in B.C.’s Okanagan, but could prove a boon to the Alberta resort town of Canmore.

The new non-B.C.-resident tax could gut the Okanagan economy, warns Scrap the Speculation Tax, a new Kelowna-based business coalition.

Starting in 2019, Canadians from outside B.C. who have seasonal properties in the province that are subject to the tax will pay a 1% levy on the assessed value of the property. Homes that are left vacant for six months or more in a year are subject to the tax.

In Kelowna, a popular spot for vacationing Albertans, a waterfront cottage can easily reach $1 million, which would translate into a speculation tax of $10,000 annually if it were left vacant half of the year.

The numbers are not lost on Frank Kernick, developer of Spring Creek in Canmore, Alberta, who is marketing the advantages of buying east of the Rockies.

“We’ll provide the B.C. wine; you save the seven-hour drive to Kelowna,” said Kernick. “Anyone, Albertan, British Columbian or Canadian, who buys a condo in our White Spruce Lodge in the spring or summer of 2018 will receive a free case of B.C. wine from us and an enormous saving on their tax bill by buying in Alberta.”

The wine giveaway is a nod to a short-lived Alberta ban on imports of B.C. wine, part of a simmering trade war between the two provinces. The trade war is tied to B.C.’s attempt to slow or stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would bring more Alberta oil to tankers on the West Coast.

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