VICTORIA (July 28, 2020) – The BC Liberals are condemning John Horgan and the NDP’s recently-passed strata legislation that fails to provide immediate relief for condo and townhome owners hit with skyrocketing insurance costs.
“We have been calling on the NDP to take action on the strata crisis since February and when they finally pass a bill, it completely fails to offer immediate solutions or relief,” says Todd Stone, BC Liberal Critic for Housing and MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson. “Adding even more frustration for people is the fact that while thousands of British Columbians are struggling to make ends meet, the NDP is profiting from the crisis and will collect $13.2 million in tax revenue on insurance premiums this year.”
In British Columbia, insurance premiums include a 4.4 per cent Insurance Premium Tax. This means that in the example of Bob and Susan from Kelowna — who have seen their strata’s insurance premium increase from $84,000 to $387,000 this year — the NDP is now collecting approximately $16,310 in tax from their strata’s premium alone. The BC Liberals have previously suggested a temporary tax holiday on the Insurance Premium Tax as a way of leaving more money in the pockets of strata owners.
“The legislation the NDP passed will not provide the solutions that are desperately needed,” concluded Stone. “We need to see real action on the strata crisis. Changes that will take years to make a difference will not help those struggling with skyrocketing insurance fees right now. There are common-sense solutions and relief measures that the NDP could take today, but seeing the amount of money they’ll bring in from taxes on these insurance increases it sure looks like they didn’t have any plans to actually put an end to the crisis in the first place.”