The Town of Creston may help amend the community charter. It governs all BC municipalities, save Vancouver.

The City of White Rock is looking to adopt a vacancy tax to curb rising property values. But they need support at this year’s Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM)  convention in September. A letter for support was received by the Town of Creston this week and Council spoke warmly of the idea.

“The discussion with Council was really, not so much whether Creston needs to support a vacancy tax. It’s about having the Province open up the Community Charter and allow communities to be able to manage their local government and be able to collect revenues that are appropriate for the needs of the community.” Explains the Town Creston’s Chief Administrative officer Mike Moore.

He says changing the community charter will give more wiggle room for municipalities all across BC.

“What I see is an issue is with the Province, when they haven’t allowed municipalities to be able to collect revenues appropriate for addressing their problems. So having the discussion with Council so that when they go to UBCM, it gives them a little insight, more of the complexity of the issue, so that they can support or not support a resolution.”

The Vancouver Charter was amended in 2016 to grant the City authority to impose a vacancy tax. Due to the increasing amount of foreign investment, many homes were left vacant in a city where affordable housing is a crisis.